“Why did they do it?” That’s one of the first questions on the lips of every reporter and pundit after a tragedy like the Boston Marathon bombing, and often there is no satisfying answer. In cases of domestic terrorism, the motives of the perpetrator leave us with other, equally difficult questions: what separates angry young men, most of whom will never commit acts of mass violence, from those who do?
With Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in custody, the relief many Bostonians felt at his capture turns to anger. While prosecutors have only begun to build their case against the 19-year old marathon bombing suspect, the public has strong expectations of how Tsarnaev’s trial should proceed and how he should be punished.
Leon Neyfakh writes for the ideas section of the Boston Globe, he spoke to criminologists, legal scholars and academics who warn that the trial will likely fall short of the public’s wish for emotional closure, and justice.
The shock and horror of the Boston marathon explosions one week ago today gave way to an almost incomprehensible sequence of events leading to a dramatic day-long dragnet that shut a major American city and several surrounding neighborhoods down. Now, with one suspect dead and his younger brother in critical condition at a Boston hospital, citizens and media alike are grappling to fill in motivations and create narratives that we can understand. Among the most combed-over questions is whether 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev somehow radicalized his popular, athletic, seemingly well-adjusted 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar.
Although the death of Osama bin Laden was a major blow to the terrorist group, al Qaeda, it has found new life in Africa, where groups aligned with its goals and terrorist methods have created what NATO is calling an arc of instability stretching from West African into continent's Horn. We’ll talk with experts on this development and find out what’s at stake for the U.S.
Dina Temple-Raston joins us today. She covers counter-terrorism for NPR, and is in New Hampshire this week. We’ll talk with her about the many new and emerging terrorism challenges that President Obama will face in his second term from Al Queda affiliates in Africa to handling terrorism suspects still incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay.
Dina Temple-Raston - NPR's Counterterrorism Correspondent
A small boat guards the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 20, 2000. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the man accused of masterminding the attack, is expected to testify Wednesday in a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay.
Credit Hasan Jamali / AP
Al-Nashiri, pictured in 2002, is being held at the Naval base in Guantanamo Bay.
In a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay on Wednesday, the man accused of masterminding the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, is expected to testify about the more than four years he spent in secret CIA prisons. Al-Nashiri is one of three terrorism suspects the U.S. government has admitted to waterboarding, so his testimony could be explosive. And that's why, critics argue, the government is trying to ensure that al-Nashiri's testimony be heard in secret.
A branch of the military is taking a new tack in intelligence gathering…video games. The US Navy has contracted a private firm to buy up used gaming consoles - mostly in foreign markets to extract sensitive data on gamers. Jacob Aronwrote about the new strategy for New Scientist.
One thing most of us can agree on is that air travel is at best a mysterious world we don’t quite understand, and at worst, a real annoyance. For the last nine years, Salon has featured a column called "Ask the Pilot,” giving readers an opportunity to get their questions about flying answered straight from the source. Patrick Smith is a commercial airline pilot who writes the column, and he’s agreed to subject himself to our questions...and yours.