The PJ Tatler

Boston 'Person of Interest' No Longer a Person of Interest?

More details are emerging out of Boston, including what sounds like an investigation that is still standing on square one.

Late Monday night, law enforcement officials descended on an apartment building in the suburb of Revere, about five miles north of Copley Square, linked to a man the police took into custody near the scene of the bombings. But on Tuesday morning, one law enforcement official said investigators had determined that the man, who was hurt in a blast and was questioned at the hospital, was not involved in the attack.

The roommate of the 20-year-old Saudi man was interviewed by media but apparently not by police. It almost sounds like they considered the Saudi a “person of interest” due to the lack of any other more concrete leads.

If investigators don’t have any leads on who placed the bombs, they do have leads on what sort of devices were used.

Mr. Lynch characterized the choice of the material as deliberate. “This is not a device like Oklahoma City,” he said. “That was to bring the building down. The ball bearings are meant as antipersonnel munitions. They’re trying to cause carnage here.”

And they did, killing an 8-year-old boy who was waiting to hug his dad.

President Obama remains reluctant to directly call the bombing terrorism, preferring instead to have others say it or dress it up in the ongoing investigation.

“This was a heinous and cowardly act,’’ the president said Tuesday at the White House. “And given what we now know about what took place, the F.B.I. is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror. What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual.”

Why does the “why” even matter to whether the president should call it “terrorism” or not? It was an attack on civilians designed to kill and maim them, and cause terror among the rest of us. That’s terrorism. That much was obvious from a few seconds after the attack, as it was obviously terrorism when Nidal Hasan went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood four years ago. Perhaps we should be thankful that Obama’s terrorism timeline is getting shorter.