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Saturday, August 30, 2014

We must remain vigilant in the war on terror

Despite the fact that it has been nearly a dozen years since 9/11, the recent Boston Marathon attack proves that terrorism is still a very real threat in this country.

April 15 — tax day for most — marked the joyous celebration of Patriots’ Day in Boston, and hundreds of thousands gathered along the city’s streets to watch the Boston Marathon. Approximately four hours into the race, two bombs were detonated only seconds apart and just yards from the finish line.

After the smoke cleared, three people were dead, including 8-year-old Martin Richards, and more than 180 bystanders were injured, several seriously. The images that continue to run through every American’s mind are truly heartbreaking.

The manhunt for the suspects began immediately, with the FBI calling on the American people for their help. After an extensive investigation, it was discovered that the culprits were two brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, from the Russian republic of Chechnya. After their identities became public, the duo killed an MIT security guard and engaged in a shootout with police that ended in the elder brother’s death.

The younger brother fled the scene, leading police on a manhunt and forcing the city of Boston to be shut down. Late Friday, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended, thanks to the heroic efforts of the Boston Police Department. The ambulance carrying him was greeted on the streets of Watertown, Mass., by chants of, “USA! USA!”

It was a proud moment. But there are a lot of questions that remain as to why the elder Tsarnaev, a Chechen immigrant, was allowed to remain in the U.S. given his postings on terrorist websites.

These two young men lived in the U.S. legally for years before carrying out this act of terror. It is still unknown why they did it, or if any terrorist organization was behind it.

According to a story in Sunday’s New York Post, in 2011, Russian intelligence warned the U.S. that the elder Tsarnaev was becoming a radical Muslim. Our FBI questioned him, but was unable to connect him to any terror plot.

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