Boston Bombing – Prejudice or Wrong Place Wrong Time ?

Boston-Marathon-Bombing-Suspect

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Following the bombings at the Boston Marathon which claimed the life of 3 people and injured 176, law enforcement officials as well as the country as a whole has attempted to catch the individuals responsible. Almost immediately, the FBI, State Police, and Boston Police began investigating the scene of the crime.(http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/04/2013418213153686717.html) Two hours following the bombing, officials began to release information that they had one of the possible suspects “person of interest” involved in the act of terror. As reported by the New York Post and Fox News, both reported that the suspect was identified as a 20 year old Saudi Arabian individual.(http://www.inquisitr.com/620192/boston-marathon-explosion-suspect-reportedly-a-saudi-national-in-guarded-condition-at-hospital/) The twenty two year old who is currently unidentified and unnamed was only stated to be a student here in the United States on a VISA and was under guarded security at the hospital while being treated for his injuries. In addition to this, officers began a search of his apartment, questioned the “person of interest” and his roommate, as well as remove evidence from the location.( http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-student-boston-marathon-bomb-hunt-20130416,0,5904809.story)

Saudi bombing suspect

Now this is where we must begin to question on whether this was a prejudice or just a foreign individual at the wrong place at the wrong time. As reported by CBS News “a bystander saw the young man running, badly hurt, rushed to him, and then “tackled” him, bringing him down. People thought he looked suspicious.” When looking at what claimed to make him look suspicious and what made him a suspect by law enforcement personnel, he was running, he was Saudi Arabian, the police reportedly thought he smelled like explosives, and he made claims about thinking there would be a second bomb. To all of these claims, there are many cases of evidence that prove that this was solely a case of citizen bias towards foreign / Arab individuals as well as bias by law enforcement based from 9/11. In looking at the opposing views to all of these claims, everyone was running to avoid being killed, everyone injured or close to the bomb would smell like explosives, and any logical person would think there was a second bomb based on the fact that there usually is one both to further increase causalities as well as target first responders. Once looking at this, it becomes quite clear that the fact that the individual was Saudi Arabian and looked foreign / Arab played a key role in the suspicion. (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/04/the-saudi-marathon-man.html)

Following Mondays claims that he was a suspect and “person of interest”, on Tuesday claims had coincidently changed to the individual being simply a witness. However, what makes this ironic is the fact that in normal circumstances, a witness would not have their house searched and evidence removed, a witness would not have their roommates questioned, and a witness would not be under guarded security in the hospital where he was not allowed to leave. The big question here is have we got to the point where we automatically assume that Americans are innocent of these acts only done by foreign individuals? Unfortunately, everybody would like to think that this individual was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, however, it seems more and more clear that the police as well as Americans have become biased and prejudice towards specifically Arab individuals instantly claiming all to be suspects of terrorism. This is further proved from yesterdays (Thursday April 18th) reports that two suspects of which both are American citizens, where identified by the FBI in photos and video surveillance as the two suspects. Lastly, we must also look at how social media such as Facebook, instagram, news reports and other forms of media made it possible for the public to provide the FBI with video, picture, and use of social media to assist law enforcement with information and evidence. This additional information not only helped find the two individuals officially named as the suspects, but also helped the Saudi Arabian man be cleared as a “person of interest”. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/04/2013418213153686717.html
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/19/fbi-releases-photos-boston-marathon-bombing-suspects/

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