A lot has been said to analyze the Boston bombings. Racism and political hostility have been brought up. But this time, none of these are valid reasons that triggered the attack.
Is it a matter of age and the recklessness of the suspected young Boston bombers? It is true that the two Chechen brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are young men, aged 26 and 19. But take terrorist Nidal Hassan as an example. He was almost 40 years old when he committed his crime in 2009. He was a military man and a psychiatrist working at the Fort Hood Base in Texas. He killed 13 of his colleagues.
Another example is Faisal Shahzad who belonged to a Pakistani group and who was 30 years old when he was arrested for the attempted 2010 Times Square bombing in the heart of New York.
Terror knows no age
Anger towards America?
They did not care about their political cause or about Chechnya’s independence from Russia as much as they cared about the cause to fight "infidels" in the U.S.Abdulrahman al-Rashed
In addition to that, there is no pressing political issue that justifies the two men's anger towards American policy. The Americans have left Iraq, and they are about to exit Afghanistan. The Americans had also refused to participate in the war in North Mali.
So if motives have nothing to do with age, race or politics, how did the two brothers commit their crime which caused hatred and fear?
It is the same old concept. It is extremist intellect that markets vengeance and hatred. The brothers' read and watched videos limited to the rhetoric of extremist Islamist groups.
They did not care about their political cause or about Chechnya’s independence from Russia as much as they cared about the cause to fight infidels in a country that provided them with safety, refuge, education and a chance to start a family.
Many have previously thought that international cooperation, war, tough security measures, and strict global laws meant limiting and ending terrorism that has targeted tens of countries in the past decade. But Boston's terrorist incident showed that the situation is much more difficult than all expectations and aspirations.
The problem has remained unchanged. Much has been done to confront terrorism but only a little has been done to fight extremism.
This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on April 22, 2013.