It's clear that the Tsarnaevs are jihadist terrorists, and we can stop dancing around that fact.
A week ago, no one knew what a pressure cooker bomb was. Now, everyone does. But where does the idea come from?
From an engineering standpoint, a pressure cooker bomb is one of many ways to get a strong explosion from a fast burning, but not technically explosive, material such as gunpowder. In principle, it's a larger version of the traditional pipe bomb, which operates on the same principles. The container - a section of pipe in the case of a pipe bomb - acts to contain the pressure until it reaches the point where the container is ruptured. The energy is then released all at once, instead of over a period of time.
The idea of using a pressure cooker as the container appears to be 21st century phenomenon. Contrary to some recent press reports, pressure cooker bombs have primarily been used by Islamic terrorists, such as in the 2006 Mumbai train bombings. Detailed instructions were published in the Summer 2010 edition of Inspire magazine in an article entitled, "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom".
Inspire is published by AQAP - Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - which became the strongest Al Qaeda regional franchise after the effective destruction of the Al Qaeda core in Afghanistan in 2001-2003. The magazine reflects a change in strategy on the part of Al Qaeda: previously, they brought recruits to Al Qaeda training camps before dispatching them on missions, as with the September 11 attacks; the new strategy provided information directly to motivated individuals so they could conduct their own training and attacks in a leaderless style.
Such leaderless attacks would be much more difficult to detect and prevent, since the individuals involved no longer needed to make direct contact with Al Qaeda leadership, either in person or at all. What would these individuals look like? They would be still be fundamentalist muslims. They would use weapons, such as pressure cooker bombs, described in jihadist sources like Inspire. And, like all terror attacks, their attacks would be calculated for maximum publicity.
The Tsarnaevs fit this description perfectly. Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Youtube page was full of Islamic videos - with section on terrorism - and he had been reported to the FBI by foreign governments as a follower of radical Islam; his brother was strongly influenced by him. The bombs they used were straight out of the Inspire pressure cooker bomb recipe, right down to the nails and ball bearings for shrapnel and the timed fuse. And, of course, their attack garnered worldwide publicity for days.
There can be little doubt that the Tsarnaevs were jihadist terrorists following Al Qaeda's new leaderless style. The government need not resort to unconstitutional interrogation to confirm that fact, and he press can stop trying to dance around it.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev a follower of radical Islam:
Information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Youtube page:
Inspire article "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom"
Confirmation that the Tsarmaevs learned to make their bombs from Inspire magazine:
Also, they got welfare benefits:
Edited at 2013-04-25 08:41 pm (UTC)