Boston Marathon Bombing Could Have Been Averted!

Did You Know the Boston Marathon Bombing Could Have Been Avoided?

Boston MarathonThousands of lives could have been saved and the horrific incident could easily have been averted by the authorities. Read on to know what happened, why it happened and how we could have prevented this tragic incident.

The Boston Marathon – All About It

The Boston marathon is the oldest and most prestigious of marathons run in the US, greater Boston, Massachusetts, held on Patriots’ Day, 3rd Monday of April, world’s oldest annual marathon, it is one of 6 world marathon majors and was inspired by the Greek Marathon. It attracts spectators in millions. And it is always on such occasions, that cities need to be specially forearmed and forewarned as such scenes of congestion of large sections of the populace would be tempting for would be terrorists/disruptors or even psychologically unstable people to create chaos and panic, in order to spread their vicious agenda

What happened at the Boston Marathon?

On April 15, 2013, the site of the Boston Marathon, was the target of a bomb attack, gthat killed 3 people, injured nearly 300 people, the bombs were crude bombs, assembled in pressure cooker, to maximise impact and was placed near the finish line. The explosions occurred after the winners had already run through the finish line, while the rest of the marathoners were still making their way to the finish line. The planning of the attack was chilling as it led to the transformation of a scene of jubilation into a scene of chaos, cries and fear.

Investigations- the suspects

As a part of its investigations, FBI found that the blasts were allegedly Masterminded by two Chechen brothers,  Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, The elder brother was shot during an encounter with the police, after putting up a resistance and killing a police officer while the younger escaped but was later caught. Tamerlan has been pointed out by Dzhokhar as the mastermind of the crime. He was a man caught in contradictory impulses: attracted by dreams of being a champion boxer as well as highly influenced by what was happening in the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan and especially the ideologies propagated by Islamic extremist groups. As a result of this, they got motivated to prepare crude bombs and vent out their rage on the innocents at the marathon.

Significance of the bombing

Boston MarathonThis extremist attack created ripples the world over. Not just because of the clever planning but also because of questions of how any urban place can safeguard themselves from potential threats, which can be perpetrated anytime by any one.

It also raises the question of how cities can better manage responses to such attacks in terms of efficient rescue and provision of medical care, better management of crowds, preventing a panic situation, coordination of information exchange between the primary agencies which are involved in management etc.

What the Town Authorities Did Well During the Boston Marathon

What was praiseworthy was that the town was prepared in terms of emergency responsiveness and were able to quickly respond and bring relief to survivors. This responsiveness was achieved owing to lot of pre-planning and practice for various scenarios as well as coordination between agencies. The Boston emergency services were quickly pressed into action and were able to rescue many casualties to emergency hospitals within 90 minutes of the bombing, (at 2 50 pm) of the finish line of the Boston Marathon, many of them within the first hour itself. Because of this, the number of deaths were only three, and that too, all three occurred at the scene of the crime. Thus, a huge number of lives were saved. Among the reasons ascribed to this, were the bravery and indubitable courage shown by the witnesses and bystanders who were on the scene at the time, the agencies who were the first to arrive on the scene and who displayed promptness and no delays, as well as displayed exemplary skills and coordination in goin back and forth, managing the transport of the survivors. In addition, the events of September 2011 could be said to have laid the foundation for a group of events and a series of security as well as emergency procedures, which led to this reduction in the extent of the damage and deaths.

While there was some level of success in coordination between different organisational structures, leadership structures in this area, there was difficulties in this aspect, with respect to whether this attcj could have been prevented. In hindsight, it seems that this sad event could have been prevented if there had been better cooperation between law enforcement agencies.

But the Boston Marathon Bombing Could Have Been Avoided Had We Followed These….

Boston MarathonWhat is incredible about this bombing, is how after the 2011 terrorist attacks, in spite of heightened security attacks, these young men were able to obtain material on how to design such bombs, easily available material for creating these bombs and getting it done, thus exposing the massive security lapses, in the arrangements at the marathon site. Also they were able to successfully evade the police for days.

Authorities say that though it was not an easy task to prevent the bombings, a better and more effective homeland security system as well as information sharing on these perpetrators, could have prevented or restricted the scale of the attacks. It seemed that Russian authorities had already advised the FBI and CIA of the necessity of looking into the activities of Tamerlane in 2011 and he had been put on a watch list and subsequently cleared of being radicalised but this information had not been shared with the local authorities. The local authorities emphasise that this knowledge could have helped them in pre-empting this heinous attack. Another lesson learnt was the necessity of getting the community involved in monitoring or observing potential attackers and abnormal behavioural patterns. The authorities need to also improve the use of social media in policing and incorporating into the existing practices, which would also help in information dissemination as well as keeping an eye on the pulse. Social media dissemination of vital information following the bomb blasts, also helped to bring help around as well as it would help in detailing and describing the events which occurred.

Image source: Tim Evanson, via

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