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The lessons of the Boston bombings

Around the world, especially in democratic countries, law enforcement agencies during difficult situations, rely heavily on the eyes and ears of the public in helping to nab criminals who often seek refuge posing as regular law abiding citizens.

The recent tragedy in Boston, when two bombs exploded near the finish line of their famous marathon sending shock waves across the globe leaving three people dead and many injured with several losing limbs at the scene, was a wake up call for peace loving people everywhere.

When the dust finally settled, police including the FBI, knew they had a mammoth task in wading through mountains of photographic material and security camera footage in trying to determine who committed such a heinous act.

Along with a wide range of police departments, modern technology would play a part in helping to pinpoint the culprits, resulting in a massive manhunt never seen before in the State of Boston, or indeed America. Cameras these days are a part of modern communication and not much happens without pictures flashing around the world in seconds.

The Boston tragedy also highlighted how vulnerable any society can be when one or two twisted minds take it upon themselves to inflict terror without a thought as to innocent people becoming victims. Even more puzzling is how a mind can be driven to carry out such a deed oblivious to consequences. Unlike suicide bombers, who gladly sacrifice themselves in the process, the two suspects in the Boston bombing did not appear too keen on becoming victims themselves.

When it became clear to investigating officials that the suspects, who were brothers, had been spotted by security cameras and could be identified, an appeal to the public was made to assist in bringing them to justice. In other words, despite an army of heavily armed police officers combing Boston, officials knew the eyes and ears of the public could also play a key role.

Later with one brother dead after a shoot-out with police, and the other now is police custody, many questions remain as how these young men were able to slip beneath security radar during the day of the marathon, and perhaps the biggest question of all, what motivated them to embark on a course to kill and maim innocent people in the first place.

It could be some time before these questions are answered, if ever. One fact coming out of all this is that people could play a greater role in assisting police in matters where capturing someone could mean the difference between keeping communities safe, or providing criminals with space to become a further threat. It is not uncommon for some people with information to remain silent simply because they do not want to be involved.

The Boston tragedy has lessons for any community where good values and safety are basic standards for peace and harmony. Too often we forget there are more good people than bad, and no act of terror should be allowed to take the glow out of events that promote better social harmony.

Here in Bermuda, we share the pain so many felt in Boston, and hopefully at the next marathon Bermudians will not only participate, but along with participants from around the world, will send a clear message that the people will never surrender to criminal initiatives out of fear. Recently our police have met with success because of greater cooperation from the public and they have not hesitated in making this known.

The world can be a better place with good people locking arms in defying those with blind hatred from ever undermining the good values that make life on this planet a beautiful experience.

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Published April 23, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 22, 2013 at 7:18 pm)

The lessons of the Boston bombings

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