Bombs Go Off In Boston, and the Conspiracy Theories Begin…

As anyone who’s reading this probably already knows: Yesterday afternoon, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring at least 140 others, in what is pretty clearly some kind of terrorist attack.

Of course, it didn’t take long for the conspiracy theorists to come out of the woodwork. Right-wing conspiracist Alex Jones tweeted his reaction to the bombings with the hashtag “false flag”, not-so-subtly implying that the U.S. government was behind the explosions.

Meanwhile, Islamophobic blogger Pamela Geller has already concluded that Muslims are responsible, claiming on her blog that a “Jidahist” had been arrested in connection with the bombings. Others on the right have embraced the Muslim scapegoat, with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer tweeting: “Anybody want to rethink Muslim immigration?”

Not much is known yet about these bombings, but based on the available information I am almost certain that the U.S. government is not responsible. (What would the government have to gain from this?)

I am also skeptical that Islamic terrorists are responsible (and even if this was the work of an Islamic terrorist, the vast majority of Muslims in the U.S. do not condone or support terrorism).

Given the location and relatively small-scale of the attack, I believe it’s far more likely to have been the work of a lone domestic terrorist with right-wing or anti-government views–in the mold of Eric Rudolph or Timothy McVeigh (and I say this as a dyed-in-the-wool anarchist).

But I’m just speculating. The fact is, no one knows yet who is responsible for these bombings (despite much speculation), and it may be days, weeks or even months before we know. In the meantime, let’s not lose our heads about this.

(P.S. – The Boston Globe has put up video of the bombing on YouTube, and it’s pretty horrifying to watch.)

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