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by
Bridget Johnson

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April 16, 2013 - 6:58 am

A series of Twitter gloats today raised questions about the possible involvement of Somali terror group Al-Shabaab in the Boston Marathon bombing.

No person or group has yet directly taken responsibility for the attack that killed three and wounded 176, 17 of those critically. The FBI issued a be-on-the-lookout for a dark-skinned or black man in dark clothes, perhaps with a foreign accent, who tried to enter a restricted area moments before the first blast. Authorities were also questioning a Saudi national here on a student visa and searched an apartment in Revere, Mass., last night.

Terror groups have shown a fondness for Twitter in recent years, and last night al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab posted three tweets around 2 a.m. Eastern time:

 

Al-Shabaab launched an attack against Mogadishu’s main court complex Sunday, killing at least 29 in a series of bombs and hail of gunfire. Simultaneously, a car bomb went off near the airport, killing five more.

Congress was warned in a December hearing that a dangerous confluence of terror organizations was making use of a huge chunk of west African territory as a safe haven and possible launching pad for attacks.

Over the summer U.S. Africa Command noted that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was inviting terror groups Boko Haram of Nigeria and Somalia’s al-Shabaab to come hang, train, and join forces in an area the size of Texas.

Underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas 2009, is Nigerian.

An ADL report last year warned Al-Shabaab was increasingly recruiting Americans. “Most of the American men training with Al Shabaab are believed to have been radicalized in the U.S., especially in Minneapolis, and are being recruited by Al Shabaab both on the Internet and in person. Some of these Somali-American recruits have even engaged in suicide bombings in Somalia,” the report states. “Al Shabaab has also used their American recruits in propaganda efforts to convert more Somali-Americans to their cause.”

“Although most of Al Shabaab’s violent acts have occurred within Somalia’s borders, it has expressed a willingness to attack other targets.”

Al-Shabaab’s media arm was kicked off Twitter in January after the terrorists used the account to threaten to kill Kenyan hostages and announce the execution of a French commando. The account was soon relaunched under another handle.

“They shut it down because our account overpowered all the Christians’ mass media and they could not tolerate the grief and the failure of the Christians we always displayed (online),” Al-Shabaab told Reuters when they were upset over the shutdown.

The Pakistani Taliban have denied responsibility for the Boston attack.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
The moslem terrorists uses many names to confuse those who love freedom. We should just call them all what they are and eliminate this terror machine and fanatic ideology once and for all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (12)
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We have a lot of Somali refugees in Tucson. They are utterly unassimilated (except to pick up their food stamps and other government goodies). They are mostly highly unskilled. The only reason they're here is because of some fuzzy headed thinking about political refugees.
If this turns out to be an Al-Shabaab operation, every Somali refugee in the country should be immediately expelled and sent back to their open air latrine of a country in the horn of Africa.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bridget, you make more sense and seem closer to the truth than anyone else I have read or heard. Add in the following facts: First, the winners and frontrunners in the Marathon are usually Ethiopian, Somali, and Kenyan and the race is of intense interest to people from that area. Second, the explosions were set off at a time likely to avoid injury to that group and well after the winners and their fans had cleared out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A zeitgeist: No one wants to consider who did this, by who I mean what groups, for there are distinct social groupings of those who employ mad bomber/terror bomber techniques. The crowd is aggressively calling such speculation premature.

What are the groupings, based on the last century plus of such bombings worldwide? First by many lengths are jihadis (including anti-zionists). Second are anarchists and radical marxists -- like the (sadly) esteemed and celebrated professors Ayers and Dohrn. Third are extreme white separatists and anti-abortion zealots. The OKC bombing and Eric Rudolf. That last group gets into the rare, and one-off loony category, then we add crazies like the Unabomber, or the locally reported pipe-bombers.

The chance of it being a jihadi bombing, just on the basis of who does such bombings in the past 20 years, the past 10 years, is very high. That does not eliminate other possibilities, but it just allows prudence to dictate where to spend resources looking for the culprits.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Somali pirates were killed by US Navy Seals on 12 April 2009. That was the Maersk Alabama hijacking. There is a big and vibrant Somali community in the Boston area.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What follows is why the enemy can not be understood, or named. "Most of the American men training Al-Shabaab are believed to have been radicalized in the U.S..."

Reading, and learning the Koran, and following Muhammad is not considered radical to a Muslim, or Islam. The only extremist within Islam are the Apostates.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is obviously the work of muslims,
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is just jumping up and down and shouting "Bomb Me" for this group. Wonder what time today the drone will arrive?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Fascinating. Wonder where this is going.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The Pakistani Taliban have denied responsibility for the Boston attack."

Why? Even if they had nothing to do with the attack, why not claim it as a way of tweaking our noses and making us feel more unsettled.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Possibly because, despite their bluster, they really don't want us to reaffirm a commitment to crawl into their $hit and finish the job we started right when the Bamster is pulling our troops out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Because sometimes you don't want (or need) the extra visibility. It may be the difference between 1 drone strike this week and 10 a day.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The moslem terrorists uses many names to confuse those who love freedom. We should just call them all what they are and eliminate this terror machine and fanatic ideology once and for all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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