While the hunt continues for those responsible for the brutal terrorist attack on Patriot’s Day in Boston, Muslim groups and their supporters already have part of the answer: They are the victims.
In an email this week, the Council on American-Islamic Relations – an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist-finance case in U.S. history – linked to a story in Religion News Service titled, “U.S. Muslims mobilize to prevent Boston backlash.”
The article praised what it called Muslim activists for sending out statements via social media condemning the bombings.
The story then criticized anyone who would speculate on the possibility that Muslim terrorists could be behind the attack.
In the hours after the attack, several terrorism experts appearing on news shows noted the type of bombs were similar to what American soldiers faced from IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Islamist terror is rampant.
The techniques and tactics used in the bombing including the use of pressure cookers bear the earmarks of those advocated by al-Qaida. In fact, al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine featured an article in 2010 titled, “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” which detailed how to make a pressure cooker bomb similar to what was used in the Boston Marathon attack.
That logical pathway of investigation notwithstanding, the Islamist community makes it clear just exactly who the victims are.
The RNS article cited what the author feels are unfair attempts to suggest there might be an Islamic connection to the attack.
Among the examples provided are tweets by WND columnist by Erik Rush, who criticized U.S. policy of allowing Saudi nationals into the country without additional security screening. His comments were in reference to news reports that police were detaining a Saudi national as a “person or interest.” The identity of the individual was reported in multiple media outlets including CNN.
Naeem Baig, president of the Islamic Circle of North America, said it was problematic for American Muslims that people were speculating the bombing could be the work of Islamists.
“Obviously it’s a matter of concern,” Baig told RNS.
Baig also praised media outlets and President Obama, who were going out of their way to deflect attention from similarities to the bombing and other terrorist attacks by Islamists overseas.
“I see a very cautious and balanced approach from the media. It shows a lot of responsibility on their part, not jumping to conclusions,” he said. “And the president and his statements were very balanced and mature. Overall, politicians and the media have behaved responsibly.”
Other media outlets also jumped on the Muslims-as-victims bandwagon.
The Los Angeles Times wrote that many Muslims are hoping the bomber is not one of them because they have “dark memories about the pervasive suspicion” they received following the 9/11 attacks.
Those attacks were perpetrated by Islamists – 15 of the 19 attackers were from Saudi Arabia alone.
Salon.com went even further, saying in an article, “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.”
The facts, however, suggest that Islamic radicals cannot be excluded from the pool of suspects.
A 2011 report by the National Counterterrorism Center said that 70 percent of terrorism is committed by Muslim terrorist groups. Additionally, despite attempts by the Obama administration to downplay attacks such as the Fort Hood shooting as simply workplace violence similar to two employees getting into a fight, many Americans continue to view the attack as terrorism.
The website Religion of Peace has noted that in the past 30 days, Islamists worldwide have committed 205 acts of terrorism resulting in 1,008 killed and 2,027 wounded. Since the first of the year there have been 500 attacks which have killed 2,807 individuals and wounded 4,533 worldwide.
The media did report that a Saudi national was detained as a “person of interest,” and then followed that with a report that individual was not a suspect. But now officials apparently are trying to get the individual, 20-year-old Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, out of the country as fast as they can.
Steve Emerson, with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, dropped the bombshell that Alharbi, who has been portrayed in the mainstream media as a cooperating witness and simply an innocent bystander, is being deported for national security reasons.
“I just learned from my own sources that he is now going to be deported on national security grounds next Tuesday, which is very unusual,” Emerson told Sean Hannity of Fox News Wednesday night.
The statement came after Reuters news agency reported Obama met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Wednesday, noting, “the meeting was not on Obama’s public schedule.”
Emerson told Hannity he believed it was not just an oversight that caused the meeting to be unscheduled.
“That’s very interesting because this is the way things are done with Saudi Arabia. You don’t arrest their citizens. You deport them, because they don’t want them to be embarrassed and that’s the way we appease them.”
Additionally, on the previous day, Secretary of State John Kerry held a meeting with the Saudi foreign minister that was closed to press coverage.
Efforts by Muslims to describe themselves as victims are not new. Following an attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, CAIR implied Muslims were the real targets.
Then, CAIR said, “Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.”
It went on to call on mosques to review security procedures.
A similar sentiment also came from Harris Zafar, a spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, who tweeted “crimes against Sikhs since 9/11 driven by hatred for Muslims.”
Robert Spencer, founder of Jihad Watch, said it was appalling how Muslims frequently attempt to portray such tragedies as attacks against them, rather than against the true victims of the crime or terrorist act.
“CAIR was quick to suggest that this attack on the Sikhs was an anti-Muslim attack. In actuality Muslims have … persecuted Sikhs around the world,” Spencer said. “Zafar repeats the now-familiar claim that the Sikhs who were murdered … were actually mistaken for Muslims – a claim that has been substantiated by no evidence whatsoever, and is a spectacularly distasteful display of exploitation of the dead.”
Rush Limbaugh noted on his radio show Wednesday that the media was terrified of any suggestion that the bomber might be a Muslim.
“If some liberal finds out that it was not a white perp, will they withhold the information,” Limbaugh asked.
He noted a similar thing happened following the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, where the Obama administration took great pains to portray the attack as being the fault of a U.S. filmmaker.
Limbaugh commented on the foolishness of, on the one hand, authorities calling on the American people to help with tips, while on the other wanting to avoid offending Muslims.
“How are we supposed to find somebody if we can’t be told what he looks like? If we’re gonna be scared to death of what the perp looks like, how are we supposed to find these people,” Limbaugh said. “They’re out there. Look, I don’t want to mischaracterize what authorities tried to do, but they’re asking people for tips. They’re begging people for tips, and then the media is making it look like you gotta be very careful if a perp is dark-skinned.
“If it’s anything other than a white guy, we got a problem here. So while they’re begging for tips, they’re also frightening people against coming forward with information which might offend people. We’re not talking about profiling somebody who’s innocent here. We’re trying to catch a murderer.”
WND reported Wednesday morning that the Saudi student Alharbi shares the same last name as a major Saudi clan that includes scores of al-Qaida operatives.
Some in the clan are senior al-Qaida members while others are reportedly being held by the U.S. in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.
Alharbi is reportedly studying in the U.S. on a student visa.
A large group of federal and state law enforcement agents reportedly raided Alharbi's apartment in Revere, Mass.