Republican congressman singles out al-Qaeda as possible Boston Marathon mastermind

crime | Apr 17, 2013 | By Martin Barillas

Congressman Peter King (R-NY) threw a bombshell of his own on April 16 as he was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer of CNN. Referring to the horrific Boston Marathon bombing, King said that the double-tap bomb blast suggests the U.S. is now engaged in “the new war with al-Qaida.” 

 
Said King to the veteran journalist Blitzer, “This may be the new war with al-Qaida: smaller attacks with people who are under the radar screen.”
 
“Many al-Qaida groups are using Americans with clean records.” King represents a district on Long Island and has long been outspoken about terrorism since the events of 911. 
 
A former chairman of the Homeland Security Committee of the House of Representatives, King suggested that the pressure cooker explosive devices used at the bomb site at the Boston Marathon finish line are of a style similar to those used by the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Speaking specifically, King mentioned the 2010 attempted bombing at Times Square in New York City. Said King, "Al-Qaida has been more associated with iconic events, athletic events — lots of carnage, with a lot of innocent people hurt.” The outspoken King told CNN, “al-Qaida in its literature has been calling for attacks on athletic events.”
 
Besides King, independent experts have noted the similarity of the bombs at the Boston Marathon to those commonly used by terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere by Islamist terrorists. 
 
On the same day,  King said in an interview on “The Steve Malzberg Show”  of NewsMax TV that the Saudi “person of interest’’ in the Boston bombings has not yet been ruled out as a possible suspect. In the aftermath of the blasts, reports emerged that a 20-year-old Saudi national was being questioned by law enforcement at an area hospital where he was being treated for injuries. Law enforcement has since declared that the man in question is not under arrest and that the search for a perpetrator or perpetrators is now "wide open." Of the Saudi, King said “I’m not sure that the 20-year-old Saudi has been ruled out,” adding, “The media has been too quick to run with that.
 
“I’m not saying he is a target or anything else, but I also don’t believe that he’s been ruled out,” King continued. “I would wait until that’s officially announced, until we get a better announcement on that. They did raid his house.’’ Police questioned one of the Saudi's roommates, a fellow Saudi, for several hours on the evening of the blasts. He was not arrested. In interviews with local media, the roommate said that he believed that his friend was not capable of carrying out the deadly terrorist attack.
 
Speaking to the search of the Saudi's apartment, King said it required a court-ordered search warrant to enter the man’s home. For King, this proves that law enforcement officials “had to show some sort of probable cause to raid someone’s home. I just wouldn’t be that quick to rule it out. 
 
“Also to say that al-Qaida … that certainly has not been ruled out. It could still be domestic terrorism, it could be al-Qaida, but there’s certainly a lot of evidence indicating it could be al-Qaida.’’
 
King said the fact that the bombings came so close together (by 15 seconds), the use of ball bearings and other metal objects, and that it occurred at a public event such as the marathon “would indicate that al-Qaida is a main suspect." King also said, “On the other hand, usually al-Qaida will take full responsibility within 24 hours and they haven’t done that yet.’’ 
 
Law enforcement is still sifting through debris at the bomb site in an effort to find clues. 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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