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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Here Are the FBI's Images of the Two Boston Marathon Suspects

Posted by on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 2:33 PM

One's in a white hat, one's in a black hat.

pair1.jpg
  • FBI

There are more photos right here on the FBI's website. If you know anything about these guys, you're supposed to call 800-CALL-FBI.

 

Comments (97) RSS

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yelahneb 1
Hoo boy, here we go. Glad there's *something* to go on, but damn those are blurry...
Posted by yelahneb http://www.strangebutharmless.com on April 18, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 2
Cue Paranoid Pam Geller yammering about how Palestinian those guys look in 3...2...1...
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on April 18, 2013 at 2:48 PM · Report this
3
"One is in a white hat, one is in a black hat."

Well shit, it's Spy vs. Spy.
Posted by GermanSausage on April 18, 2013 at 2:48 PM · Report this
4
Mohamedans. What a shocker.
Posted by Underemployed drone on April 18, 2013 at 2:50 PM · Report this
deadrose 5
KIRO radio has already complained it's hard to tell their eithnicity. Ugh.
Posted by deadrose on April 18, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 6
Christopher, I love that you retweeted Doug Saunders (author of the fantastic, Fnarf-approved "Arrival City"):
"Hey, that looks like my underemployed nephew" -- everyone in North America, all at once.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on April 18, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
7
@5 Yes I'm sure it is when you don't want to believe it. How is David Sirota taking the news? Poor guy.
Posted by robot ghost on April 18, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 8
@3 - Oh man, I was so close!

@4 - That's an incredible eye you have, that you can see their religion from a blurry photo.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on April 18, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this
9
@8 I think what you meant to say was, "hey, you were right all along. Young, homegrown, Moslem terrorists. Probably well versed in the culture of victimhood put forth in our schools, now taking that learning for a field trip."
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM · Report this
10
But of course, since we know now not was Mohammedans, it must be our own fault, right Sloggers?
Posted by Ted Rall's little penis on April 18, 2013 at 3:02 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 11
I took way better pics of the two guys breaking into the USPS box at N 38th St and Stone Way N last night than those pics.

Pretty sure they're Pastafarians. You can tell from the invisible noodles above them.

Maybe they're mixed race, like lots of us?
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on April 18, 2013 at 3:05 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 12
I don't think you can really call them "suspects" at this time. They're only wanted for questioning.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on April 18, 2013 at 3:06 PM · Report this
13
You can tell they are Muslims from looking at a photo, how strong is your racism?
Posted by Seattle14 on April 18, 2013 at 3:07 PM · Report this
14
from HuffPost editor:

CNN now speculating that the men are either American or not or brothers or not or in the country or out of it.

— Jack Mirkinson (@jackmirkinson) April 18, 2013

Posted by elaineinballard on April 18, 2013 at 3:08 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 15
Based on these pictures, we can rule out about 3 billion Asians, a billion Africans and a few Swedes. That narrows it down nicely. Now we just need to find out how many of the remainder own hats.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on April 18, 2013 at 3:08 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 16
Suspect 1 has features that clearly mark him as Jewish, Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Armenian, Turkish, Palestinian, Iranian, or (northern) Indian. Or some other flavor of white or white-ish guy with a vaguely prominent nose.

Suspect 2 looks like he could be literally almost any non-sub-Saharan African ethnicity.

Not a great deal to go on, here.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on April 18, 2013 at 3:09 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 17
@12--The FBI guy giving the press conference specifically called them suspects.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on April 18, 2013 at 3:11 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 18
@12 - The FBI has their photos labeled as "Suspect 1" and "Suspect 2". Still, it's probably not a good idea to just... I don't know... tackle them in the street on sight.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on April 18, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
19
Yes, only suspects. If they were six foot, white with beer bellies and Lynryd Skynryd t-shirts, you'd all be screaming bloody murder by now. But a couple of homegrown Mohammedans with a chip on their shoulders? Must be America's fault!
Posted by Underemployed drone on April 18, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 20
WAIT I thought all young people were hip and trendy and only old white men were nuts. A serious mistake is being made here. Actually that lady in the hot pink shirt looks really out of place. I think she has a motive. And that lady next to her with THE EXACT SAME PURSE PLACEMENT screams MaryKay Commando.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on April 18, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 21
@18 - That's a nice hypothetical there. Also, again, tell me how you know their religion (this is of course assuming "Mohammedan" is supposed to be a religion of some kind). Did you notice how very white the one in the white hat looks?
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on April 18, 2013 at 3:16 PM · Report this
22
"You can tell they are Muslims from looking at a photo, how strong is your racism?"

Sorry you lack common fucking sense because your political correctness gets in the way. But carry on, I'm loving this thread, I can feel your pain. Seriously, I do.
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 3:16 PM · Report this
23
@18 If they were six foot, white, with beer bellies and Lynryd Skynryd t-shirts on, they'd be singing a terrible song with LL Cool J right now, you fucking troll.
Posted by carnivorous chicken on April 18, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
24
Oops, meant @19...
Posted by carnivorous chicken on April 18, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 25
@16 with that mustache, suspect 2 appears to be an uncle - possibly an uncle who gives you unsolicited advice about cocaine on your 17th birthday.
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm http://peregrinari.tumblr.com/ on April 18, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
26
@21 I'm surprised you can type with my dick in your mouth.

Suspect #2? You mean Borat's younger cousin? Will you wager a testicle he isn't a Mohammedan? I will.

How do I know their religion? What, do you think they might be Coptics?
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 3:20 PM · Report this
27
@13, I can tell by his posting that he's an active member of a hate group.
Posted by GermanSausage on April 18, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Collin 28
@25 - Dude, fuck you. That was good advice.
Posted by Collin on April 18, 2013 at 3:24 PM · Report this
29
More than one person acting together means there's a leader somewhere.

There are likely other members of the group, one who will very likely turn these guys in.

I'm guessing the leader will be paranoid, older than 40, and unmarried or in some kind of weird religious / political marriage.

He'll probably be wearing a double-breasted suit when they catch him.
Posted by six shooter on April 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM · Report this
Kinison 30
This is reason #1 why we need CCTVs in public places in Seattle.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on April 18, 2013 at 3:26 PM · Report this
31
@29, you mean like how mafia bosses are constantly reporting their low ranking mobsters to police?
Posted by GermanSausage on April 18, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 32
@16--I appear to have Suspect 1 and 2 mixed up. You know what they say about ethnically ambiguous guys in blurry pictures...
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on April 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 33
@26: C'mon b, this is some bush-league shit - can't you shoot for at least more creatively antiquated religious terms. Like Mosselmen? Or Saracen? (go ahead, wiki it) Also, you might be less underemployed if you spent more time on craigslist jobs and less time trolling comment threads, bro. Jus sayin.
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm http://peregrinari.tumblr.com/ on April 18, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
34
So the F.B.I. has Released images of two suspects in the Boston Attack. Yeah, I have a couple questions:

Is it customary for events like the Boston Marathon to have private military contractors working at them?

Who paid Craft (a Blackwater-esc private merc group) to be there? And what were they doing?

Who were the two Craft operatives standing mere feet from the site of the first bomb blast?

What was in the two big black backpacks they were carrying?

Why do the backpacks they were carrying look so similar to the backpack that carried the pressure cooker bomb?

Do Craft operatives always carry radiation detectors?

Why is no one in the mainstream media talking about this?

http://www.infowars.com/photos-private-m…
Posted by Spindles on April 18, 2013 at 3:39 PM · Report this
35
"Why is no one in the mainstream media talking about this?"

I dunno... because it sounds f***ing crazy?
Posted by Pope Buck I on April 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM · Report this
I Heart Flan! 36
@34 Doesn't referencing infowars automatically disqualify those questions?
Posted by I Heart Flan! on April 18, 2013 at 3:46 PM · Report this
37
@ 22 I'm not bring PC I am using common sense, lot of people think the guy in the backwards hat is white. No way to no for sure till we bring them in.
Posted by Seattle14 on April 18, 2013 at 3:47 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 38
@34 - LOL INFOWARS
Posted by Pridge Wessea on April 18, 2013 at 3:52 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 39
@34
You're not supposed to think about stuff like that. It doesn't fit the predefined narrative. You will now have to be labeled a “kook” and filed away with the Truthers and the Birthers. Perhaps we’ll call you and your kind Crafters…
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on April 18, 2013 at 3:53 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 40
And the suspects both look like You Gotta Be Kidding Me.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on April 18, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this
41
@37 White like Chechens? Maybe you're too dumb to realize plenty of Mohammedans are of Caucasian stock.
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 3:56 PM · Report this
42
@32 Every act of terrorism that has occurred in the US in recent times has been perpetrated by either moslem or a redneck. Assuming those two guys are the bombers, is there any real doubt as too their religious affiliation?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 18, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Report this
Ziggity 43
@41: not so much from that angle, but if a picture of them surfaces of them nose-deep in Tagg Romney's butthole we could make a better comparison.
Posted by Ziggity on April 18, 2013 at 4:00 PM · Report this
44
@41. Are you quite sure they're mohammedans? Mayhaps yon scoundrels are Papists, Thugee, or Siamese.
Posted by GermanSausage on April 18, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this
Ziggity 45
Oops that was supposed to be @40
Posted by Ziggity on April 18, 2013 at 4:05 PM · Report this
46
@44 either way, Biggles will get them.
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 4:08 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 47
@40
I'm almost never that blurry that early in the day.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on April 18, 2013 at 4:10 PM · Report this
48
Mark my words!
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 4:19 PM · Report this
49
Sad week for the Left. The NRA handed you your ass now this. Lots of denial going on here but that is the first stage of grief. So many were so desperate for this to be some white tea bag loon for their idealigical narrative (a la David Sirota). The next stage is anger. How will that play out? Let me guess. Bush/Cheney are obviously 100% to blame for this for this.
Posted by robot ghost on April 18, 2013 at 4:21 PM · Report this
biffp 50
@49, Bush and Cheney are responsible for 100,000 dead Iraqis, 1/4 of the national debt and creating such an imbalance that the Syria is in a civil war and Iran is the dominant force in the Middle East. Why should we make shit up when those two war criminals have a plenty long record as is?
Posted by biffp on April 18, 2013 at 4:26 PM · Report this
51
Let's all pretend just for a second that Isaac Aguigui was never caught and that he is the one in those pictures. There would be assumptions that he was a Muslim terrorist, as well, based on a few blurry photos of a dark-complected young dude in a hat.

But he wasn't. He was an army soldier who fancied himself the leader of a militia and had delusions of blowing up dams, poisoning apple crops, overthrowing the government, etc., etc.

So, yeah, there are more and less likely scenarios of who these guys are, but, for the most part, nobody knows shit.
Posted by lopes on April 18, 2013 at 4:27 PM · Report this
52
@50 You skipped ahead sport. Isn't that the bargaining stage?
Posted by robot ghost on April 18, 2013 at 4:31 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 53
@44 Hogwash! Clearly the Paddys are to blame - I understand old Boston Town is simply crawling with the vulgar louts.
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm http://peregrinari.tumblr.com/ on April 18, 2013 at 4:31 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 54

1. How close is this camera to where the blasts took place?

2. Were those cameras functioning after the blast?

3. Enhancement software no doubt hard at work?

4. Be interesting to see any matchups from peoples smartphones...again, image matching, facial recognition. Even Facebook has this right?

5. In general. How come the conspiracists attribute superhuman technology and power to the "Them" but when it comes to finding two guys carrying pressure cookers in knapsacks, it seems like we have to get out the magnifying glasses and dust for prints...
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on April 18, 2013 at 4:33 PM · Report this
55
...and at the end of the day it's actually irrelevant what the perps look like. We already know that we have a problem with racist anti-gov nuts doing this type of shit. We already know we have a problem with young wannabe Jihadis also doing this shit. I was only making a point about the presumptuous cacophony coming from the "enlightened" Left this week.
Posted by robot ghost on April 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
56
@54 "How come the conspiracists attribute superhuman technology and power to the "Them" but when it comes to finding two guys carrying pressure cookers in knapsacks, it seems like we have to get out the magnifying glasses and dust for prints..."

If you read more spy novels, you'd know that one of the big dilemmas is that acting on anything worth knowing can reveal how you went about knowing.

Just because "They" know, it does not follow that we would.
Posted by They Live on April 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
doloresdaphne 57
@55, agreed.
Catching the perps is only a small success when there are so many other future terrorists in the making.

People who commit violent crimes / terrorist acts are likely already prepared to go down for it. It's the kind of thing you do when you don't have much to lose by being killed or imprisoned.

The media, and the masses love to focus on the bad guys, but not so much on prevention. And by prevention, I don't just mean more CCTV, I mean making a world in which there aren't people so psychologically damaged that they would want to hurt others.
Posted by doloresdaphne on April 18, 2013 at 5:13 PM · Report this
58
" I mean making a world in which there aren't people so psychologically damaged that they would want to hurt others."

That's right folks, that little kid blown to bits by poltically radical mohammedans? It was our fault!
Posted by I blame America! on April 18, 2013 at 5:20 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 59
You know, if there were drones close enough to get a picture of this, they would have crashed after the explosion.

It wasn't CCTV so much as internal store video at a fancy upscale place worried about theft.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on April 18, 2013 at 5:27 PM · Report this
60
Mark my words!
Posted by Underemployed Drones on April 18, 2013 at 5:38 PM · Report this
sirkowski 61
The "surveillance state" is pretty disappointing. Not sure what the conspiracy and drone nuts are shitting their pants about.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on April 18, 2013 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 62
@61 well, these are the pics we can show you. There are other pics, but you're not cleared to know about them.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on April 18, 2013 at 6:09 PM · Report this
63
looks like a pair of homos
Posted by smoked on April 18, 2013 at 6:27 PM · Report this
WFM 64
Arab With Backpack is about to become the new Driving While Black.
Posted by WFM on April 18, 2013 at 6:52 PM · Report this
venomlash 65
Their general facial structure indicates that both are of Caucasian heritage. The poor picture quality makes it difficult to tell anything about the complexion of black hat, but white hat is relatively pale.
My best guess would still be Angry White Man, but it's not possible to get any more specific about their ethnicities.
Posted by venomlash on April 18, 2013 at 6:57 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 66
@59 Those low-velocity explosives didn't even break windows that are only about 30 feet away, as seen at 0:08 here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=046MuD1p…

Small flying vehicles that can survive a typical rough landing would not spontaneously disintegrate in these conditions.

Fail.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on April 18, 2013 at 7:04 PM · Report this
Lew Siffer 67
Good luck with your angry white man theory.
Posted by Lew Siffer on April 18, 2013 at 7:06 PM · Report this
68
@the troll, ok we get it your not a fan of Muslims. I'd go so far as to say that you likely view the Koran as something one uses to start a fire. In any case clearly you view the Muslims as a threat.

So what do you propose we do about this Muslim threat? Please be specific in your response. Thank you.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on April 18, 2013 at 7:07 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 69
"Hello FBI, I would like to report a terrorist, he has been involved in killing American Citizens overseas and also has armed and funded Syrian groups linked to Al Qaeda. Ready to take this down, his name is Barack Hussein Obama."
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on April 18, 2013 at 7:10 PM · Report this
70
65

so that would describe about 90% of homosexuals....
Posted by 30 minutes late on April 18, 2013 at 7:12 PM · Report this
71
@68 I think our current president has used a good balance of soft diplomacy but putting rockets up their asses when that won't work.
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 7:15 PM · Report this
72
@65 oh Evanston boy, your political correctness is so tragic. Still convinced you've gone ghetto when you drive south into Chicago and have to deal with those ruffians from Loyola?
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 7:18 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 73
Here's a better picture of suspect #2 (white hat). He's on the left, to the right of the red box/lamp post.

http://i.imgur.com/NFPlOCI.jpg
Posted by tabletop_joe on April 18, 2013 at 7:49 PM · Report this
74
@71 oh sorry my bad. I was referring to the domestic Muslim threat. The one you appeared most vexed about in this thread. The threat posed by Muslim who are legal residents of these United States, citizen or otherwise.

I apologize for the confusion.

@69 Really? That's the best you got? Not up to your usual standard. Disappointing. But by all means please play again.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on April 18, 2013 at 8:07 PM · Report this
75
@74 I think the operation to catch and arrest the Portland bomber was an excellent example of how our law enforcement can catch the Mohammedans before they strike. Will some slip through? Of course, so more domestic surveillance of potential Moslem threats, more recruiting domestic muslims to spy, are appropriate. Just ask Mohamed Mohamud when he gets thrown away for 50 years.
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 8:20 PM · Report this
76
By the way, the French have excellent domestic spy networks set up for Moslem threats, using loyal Muslims to root out threats in mosques around the country. That combined with the wide police powers in France to phone tap and search people's email and communications have been very successful. We need to copy their aggressive tactics against domestic threats.
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 8:24 PM · Report this
77
Mossad, obviously.
Posted by kinaidos on April 18, 2013 at 8:33 PM · Report this
78
What France Does Best — The American Magazine

France is the world’s most sophisticated practitioner of counterterrorism. The U.S. can learn from her experience.
Counterterrorism, like espionage and covert action, isn’t a spectator sport. The more a country practices, the better it gets. France has become the most accomplished counterterrorist practitioner in Europe. Whereas September 11, 2001, was a shock to the American counterterrorist establishment, it wasn’t a révolution des mentalités in Paris. Two waves of terrorist attacks, the first in the mid-1980s and the second in the mid-1990s, have made France acutely aware of both state-supported Middle Eastern terrorism and freelancing but organized Islamic extremists.

In comparison, the security services in Great Britain and Germany were slow to awaken to the threat from homegrown radical Muslims. Britain’s gamble was that its multicultural approach to immigrants was superior to France’s forced-assimilation model. But with the discovery of one terrorist plot after another being planned by British Muslims, as well as the deadly transportation bombings that took place in London on July 7, 2005, the British have begun to question the wisdom of their “Londonistan” approach to Muslim immigration. Similarly, until recently, the belief in Berlin was that Germany was safe from homegrown Muslim terrorism; but two major bomb plots over the past year and a half—one aimed at German trains, the second at American installations and interests in Germany—have raised serious doubts in the minds of many German security officials about that previous assumption.

And French scholars and journalists have been way ahead of their European and American counterparts in dissecting Islamic extremism and in analyzing the phenomenon of European-raised Muslim militants. French officials who work in counterterrorism are well apprised of this intellectual spadework, often maintaining friendly relationships with scholars and journalists working in the field. The French interior ministry and prison system, for example, were remarkably helpful to the Franco-Iranian sociologist Farhad Khosrokhavar in his interviews of jailed al-Qaeda members. Khosrokhavar’s book, Quand Al-Qaida parle: Témoignages derrière les barreaux (“When Al-Qaeda Speaks: Testimonies from Behind Bars”) is easily the most insightful look into the mind of Westernized members of al-Qaeda.

French counterterrorism officials are well apprised of the relevant intellectual spadework, often maintaining friendly relationships with scholars working in the field.
And consider the Marsaud Report, issued in 2005 by a special parliamentary commission charged with examining France’s counterterrorist capacities. It states well the general French view of the threat posed by radical Islamic terrorism and is perhaps the most cogent statement yet by a European governing body on why its citizens are inextricably involved in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism and unavoidably tied to the United States:

“The absence of Islamist attacks on French soil since 9/11 should not be misinterpreted: it does not signify at all that France has been immunized from such actions, notably because of its position on the Iraq conflict. Elsewhere, we have already indicated that terrorist cells have been taken apart [since 9/11]—cells which were planning attacks on our soil. Further, outside of our national territory, French targets were struck, like the May 8, 2002, attack in Karachi…or the attack against the oil tanker Limburg off of Yemen on October 6, 2002. France is an integral part of Western civilization, a target of radical Islamic terrorists. In this regard, she figures among the potential targets of these terrorists to the same extent as any other Western nation.”

Post-9/11, the CIA and the FBI decided to headquarter America’s premier European counterterrorist liaison shop in Paris because they recognized, despite the acrimony arising from the run-up to the Iraq war, that France was the European country most serious about counterterrorism.

What America Can Learn

Can America draw any lessons from France’s encounter with Islamic terrorism? The two countries have separate histories of interaction with the Muslim world and philosophical differences when it comes to legal systems and the role of the state domestically. But it is worth knowing how other democracies do things, particularly when what they do seems to work.

Counterterrorist personnel in the FBI, CIA, and National Security Council usually rotate out of the terrorism portfolio after a few years—a distinct disadvantage compared with the French system.
And something the French do—and perhaps the hardest thing for Americans to appreciate, let alone adopt—is to grant highly intrusive powers to their internal security service, the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST), and to their counterterrorist, investigative magistrates, the juges d’instruction. The latter institution is the lynchpin of France’s counterterrorist prowess, allowing the French to marry the powers of prevention, deterrence, and punishment under one man. These magistrates, who came into being after 1986, have no American parallel and in the powers they possess appear to be sui generis within Europe. They oversee and often direct the investigative potential of France’s myriad police services, especially the intelligence unit of the French national police, the Renseignements Généraux, and the DST.

This direction is exercised through a combination of administrative statutes and, just as important, informal relations. While the DST works primarily under the authority of the minister of interior, over the years a new cooperative relationship has evolved with the juges d’instruction. Because of the success of such magistrates as Jean-Louis Bruguière and Jean-François Ricard, who proved they could handle sensitive information collected by a domestic intelligence agency, the DST now works hand in glove with the magistrates and may even be directed by them in ongoing investigations.

These magistrates and their offices have become the repositories of counterterrorist information inside the French government. The advantage over the American system here is overwhelming: counterterrorist personnel in the FBI, CIA, Justice Department, and National Security Council usually rotate out of the terrorism portfolio after a few years. And few could be said to have monitored specific cases and particular Islamist organizations for years on end.

Also striking is the ability of the French to concentrate the resources of the state. From the use of wiretaps, to day-and-night physical surveillance, to “preventive detention” that can be directed against targets on whom authorities do not have sufficient evidence to seek criminal prosecution, magistrates and their allied police and intelligence services can rapidly monitor, harass, and paralyze those they suspect of terrorist activity. As the French government’s 2006 “White Paper” on domestic security and terrorism states, “To be effective, a judicial system for counterterrorism must combine a preventive element, whose objective is to prevent terrorists from acting, and a repressive element, to punish those who commit attacks as well as their organizers and accomplices. The French system follows this logic. But its originality and strength lie in the fact that the barrier between prevention and punishment is not airtight.” The juges have largely deconstructed this wall.

The French political and legal system doesn’t do debate easily; the American system does it sublimely well, if allowed to.
The French have other important counterterrorist offices, designed to provide coordination and direction to the various ministries and bureaus involved in counterterrorism. Perhaps the most important of these is the interior ministry’s Unité de Coordination de la Lutte Anti-terroriste (the Antiterrorist Coordination Unit), created in 1984. This office collects information supplied by the other agencies, including the interior and defense ministries, and the ministry of economy, finance, and industry.

None of these offices is uniquely French. And we certainly couldn’t conclude that they operate more efficiently than their American counterparts. Again, what sets France apart are its juges d’instruction and their ability to harness the country’s enormous police resources.

A Slippery Slope to Tyranny?

It is worthwhile mentioning a critical study of Franco-American counterterrorist relations commissioned by the policy-planning staff of the French foreign ministry. According to the study, France’s highly codified legal system, where the French state enjoys enormous powers of intrusion and coercion, does not marry well with America’s messier system of separated powers, judicial independence, and presumptive rights held by individuals against the government. The censure in the piece, which likely represents the views of the French elite, is more procedural than moral. America’s legal and political system, at least under George W. Bush, couldn’t handle such “extra-legal” challenges as Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, or warrantless surveillance. According to the report’s authors, the United States got hoisted on its own petard by making the struggle against Islamic extremism into a highly politicized, militarily front-loaded “war on terror” that its legal and ethical system couldn’t handle.

To an extent, we agree with this critique. For example, we don’t think the Bush administration, with the CIA in the lead, effectively thought through the judicial and legal challenges it would encounter as it interrogated and imprisoned members and suspected members of al-Qaeda and other extremist Islamic groups. The stabilizing genius of American government is its open political system, where convulsive questions can be asked and debated, and bipartisan consensus can usually be found on serious matters of national security when a threat first materializes. The Bush administration, reflecting the desire of all presidents to protect executive privileges they deem necessary to wage war successfully, nevertheless got itself into a mess with aspects of the “war on terror” precisely because it didn’t allow politics to intervene early enough on the thorny, at times gut-wrenching, questions of how one should interrogate, imprison, and eliminate “enemy combatants.” The French political and legal system doesn’t do debate easily; the American system does it sublimely well, if allowed to.

Through the run-up to the Iraq war, which was perhaps the nadir of post-WWII Franco-American relations, Franco-American counterterrorist cooperation blossomed.
However, these issues which torment some of our allies are unlikely to affect our counterterrorist cooperation with Paris. Through the run-up to the Iraq war, which was perhaps the nadir of post–World War II Franco-American relations, Franco-American counterterrorist cooperation blossomed. In 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy, who openly admires much about the United States, was elected France’s president.

We also suspect that many in France, especially within its intelligence services, understand the unique challenges the United States confronted after 9/11, and still confronts today.

In the end, looking at the French and American approaches to counterterrorism provides an odd symmetry. In the case of France, the threat is largely, although not simply, one within the confines of its own borders. To meet that threat, the French are willing to give their officials what we would consider extraordinary powers and discretion. In the case of the United States, the terrorist threat comes largely, although not solely, from abroad. To meet that threat, President Bush has used his power as commander-in-chief to its fullest. And while his political opponents and a few judges criticize the use of that power, for the most part Americans have not reacted in a manner that suggests they see a dangerous shadow over their personal liberties. Similarly, since 1986, when French domestic counterterrorism became more intrusive, France has not gone down the proverbial slippery slope to tyranny. The society, its politics, and many of its laws have actually become much more liberal and open.

As a practical matter, there will always be a trade-off between citizen liberties and the powers a state needs to fight certain threats. Yet it is the duty of any liberal democracy not only to protect the rights associated with a decent political order, but also to protect the lives of its citizens. Exercising power in the name of security is not, ipso facto, an illiberal activity. And as our examination of the French approach to counterterrorism suggests, the exercise of such power can be considerable indeed.

Reuel Marc Gerecht is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Gary J. Schmitt is a resident scholar at AEI and director of the Institute’s Program on Advanced Strategic Studies.
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Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 8:35 PM · Report this
sloegin 79
@42 You're forgetting Columbine. Neither Muslim nor Redneck.

Just saying it's possible this is something else entirely than what the thread is all a'blather about.
Posted by sloegin on April 18, 2013 at 8:53 PM · Report this
80
@79

This thread - like all the others on the bombing - is about scores of people who should know better getting riled up over an anonymous troll.
Posted by six shooter on April 18, 2013 at 9:10 PM · Report this
81
@73 Yeah, he's the only one who doesn't seem to be the least bit surprised that a bomb has just gone off. Everyone else is either looking or running.

@79 I don't think the Columbine shooters count as terrorists because they did not have an explicitly political motive. It's possible the same is true of the Boston Marathon bombers. Still, I'm guessing these guys are foreign born and moslem. Maybe you guys will have the chance to make me eat my words. I'm sure you'll enjoy that.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 18, 2013 at 9:41 PM · Report this
82
Thank you Drone for your response.

Just to be sure I understand you correctly, so your ok with the government tapping your phone at will, tracking your movements at will, your computer usage, your library usage, the same activities of your family and friends, just to be sure.

Moreover if they have any questions, picking you up and extraordinary renditioning you to ask you a few questions under enhanced interrogation techniques. Just to be sure your not a Muslim bent on over throwing these United States.

I mean after all we need to be certain that your not a militant Muslim.

Sorry I lack your talent for picking them out by sight so I think the question needs to be asked. Are you a militant Muslim bent on the violent overthrow of our Constitution and Bill of Rights?
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on April 18, 2013 at 9:55 PM · Report this
83
If I was planning on building a bomb to kill people, yes, I'd hope the government would stop me. Wouldn't you? I think France does this right.
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 18, 2013 at 10:00 PM · Report this
84
Ok I'm good with that. Your a Socialist.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on April 18, 2013 at 10:10 PM · Report this
85
After 9/11, the Mosque in Northgate was overflowing with sympathy flowers from Seattle liberals anxious to show that they held no ill feelings towards Islamics just because a few of their brethren blew a couple of thousand people to an early death.

If these guys turn out to be right-wing nuts, I don't expect to see a single shoplifted tulip at Republican party HQ.

If, however, they turn out to be Islamists, I do expect Slog to be overrun with shows of solidarity with peace-loving Muslims, and with hatred of people who question the wisdom of importing large numbers of said Muslims. More so the latter--because it's not really any genuine concern for Muslims or civil rights or what have you, as much as it is hating the Other within your own white/Western tribe that drives the rage of the Slogger.
Posted by Billy Chav on April 18, 2013 at 10:29 PM · Report this
86
Well, so much for the racist Tea Party white guy.

@85 I can't speak for Sloggers, who are a diverse bunch, but I don't care much for folks who reach conclusions about others before they've even met them, specially if they dismiss whole cultures of people.

@29 Thanks for the little quirky pop-history lesson. There's potential for a fantastic movie in there somewhere.
Posted by floater on April 18, 2013 at 10:59 PM · Report this
87
@85 The point is every religion has its nut jobs who will act violently and claim their actions are justified by their proclaimed religion.

I've looked at the pictures the FBI posted. The suspects look like 20 maybe early 30 somethings dressed in standard middle class American clothes.

Your jumping to conclusions way ahead of the evidence. Worse is the irrational emotional cry to burn to the ground principals these United States were founded on.

Fundamentalist Christians, fundamentalist Islamics are equally as dangerous and violent. That much we do know. The religion of the two suspects, of that we know nothing.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on April 18, 2013 at 11:52 PM · Report this
venomlash 88
@72: It's not political correctness, but rather empiricism driving my statements. You absolutely cannot say anything about the ethnicity of either person based solely on those photos. Based on the profile of the attack, it seems more like American right-wing extremists than anything (comparison to the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing), but that's nowhere near definitive. I, unlike you, have the honesty and courage to admit when I don't have enough information to judge.
Also: Evanston is more ghetto than Rogers Park, and I actually live on the mid-South Side most of the time. Again, you're shooting your mouth off when you don't actually know jack shit.
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." --Abraham Lincoln
Posted by venomlash on April 19, 2013 at 12:15 AM · Report this
ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ 89
New pictures out. They look pretty white to me according to those.
Posted by ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ on April 19, 2013 at 12:34 AM · Report this
90
Bingo, I called it: Chechen.

You all owe me beers.
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 19, 2013 at 6:08 AM · Report this
91
@90 Kyrgyz, not Chechen. You owe everyone else beers. And still no definitive link to their religious beliefs and their actions.
Posted by carnivorous chicken on April 19, 2013 at 11:27 AM · Report this
92
@90 Oops, take it back: ethnic Chechens but Kyrgyz nationals... grey area on who owes beers I guess.
Posted by carnivorous chicken on April 19, 2013 at 11:36 AM · Report this
venomlash 93
@90: Their uncle says that the family isn't Chechen and that the brothers never went to Chechnya. You're picking up the beers, spud.
Posted by venomlash on April 19, 2013 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 94
@88
Oh look it was mudlimes who worship the child molesting profit you respect so much.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on April 19, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this
95
"Based on the profile of the attack, it seems more like American right-wing extremists...."

I guess you pull facts from the same place you stick dicks .... up your ass.
Posted by Underemployed Drone on April 19, 2013 at 5:12 PM · Report this
96
"Their uncle says that the family isn't Chechen"

The same uncle I just heard saying these thugs shamed all Chechens? The uncle who called them losers who couldn't make it in America so attacked it? I'll go with what the New York Times says:
Chechens.

Pull the dicks out of your ears and listen next time, then buy me those beers you owe me. Is Evanston still a dry town? Can you ask your mommy?
Posted by Borat on the Sound on April 19, 2013 at 5:16 PM · Report this
venomlash 97
@95: Did you not notice where I qualified that statement as being just a theory (a geuss)?
@96: Yes, that would be the same uncle who said that. Suck on it.
The uncle, 42-year-old Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., told The Associated Press that the men lived together near Boston and have been in the United States for about a decade. They traveled here together from the Russian region near Chechnya.

An emphatic Tsarni exclaimed the bombing has nothing to do with Chechnya.

“They’ve never been in Chechnya,” he said. “Chechens are different. Chechens are peaceful people.”
(http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/04/1…)
Posted by venomlash on April 20, 2013 at 10:12 AM · Report this

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