Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Shaken 7,766

 British PM Thatcher 
Dies Age 87


Warning:  This article may contain disturbing images for some readers.

"Crude bombs": Both of the bombs were small, likely homemade devices and
initial tests showed no C-4 or other high-grade explosive material  (Reuters)

*  Thanks to "Google Images", The "White House Blog, "USA Today",
 "Chicago Tribune","Time" and "The Washington Post".

by Felicity Blaze Noodleman

A few words of consolation to the family's of those who died and those who suffered in the cowardly act of terrorism in Boston, MA on Monday April 15, 2013: Fate has chosen you to demonstrate to the world, to be the representatives of those who have courage and who meet the challenges from those who fail in their attempts to influence the progress of human kind.  Your city will live on and prosper long after this tragedy has been forgotten.   

The Noodleman Group

President Obama: "The American People Refuse to Be Terrorized"

President Barak Obama delivers remarks on the explosions that occurred in Boston,
in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, April 16, 2013.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 Colleen Curtis - April 16, 2013
12:21 PM EDT

Following a briefing from FBI Director Mueller, Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano, and homeland security advisor Lisa Monaco, President Obama went to the Brady Press Briefing Room to update Americans on developments in Boston, following two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon. 

"We continue to mobilize and deploy all appropriate law enforcement resources to protect our citizens, and to investigate and to respond to this attack," the President said in a televised address. "Obviously our first thoughts this morning are with the victims, their families, and the city of Boston. We know that two explosions gravely wounded dozens of Americans, and took the lives of others, including a 8-year-old boy.
"This was a heinous and cowardly act. And given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism.  Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror. What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual."

The President assured the American people that while it will take time to determine what happened, "we will find whoever harmed our citizens. And we will bring them to justice."

In addition to highlighting the tremendous acts of heroism by the men and women of the FBI, the Boston Police Department, and other agencies and first responders yesterday, the President praised the kindness, generosity and love that was on display throughout the city of Boston in the aftermath of the bombings. "if you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil -- that’s it. Selflessly. Compassionately. Unafraid."

"The White House"

Graphic Evidence . . .

(WPX 11 News)  New York Daily News


Wounded bomb victims lie sprawled amid a chilling, surreal scene in Boston.
(AP – New York Post)

A Boston police officer wheels an injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner following an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

While researching this article we uncovered quite a long list of past attempts by terrorists from around the world and the one thing they all have in common is clear - they all accomplished nothing!  From Madrid to Munich to Tokyo and the United States the world refuses to be intimidated by these senseless acts of violence.  US policy in this area is unwavering:  this country will not be influenced by terrorists.

For now the FBI is pursuing the case and asking the public for any and all photos and video of the blasts for analysis in developing leads in the case.  The foot race at the Boston Marathon is now over and a new race to apprehend the bombers is now in full swing!

Boston Bombing Investigators 
Pursuing Two People

"USA Today"

Investigators are exploring a number of promising leads, including an image of a man believed possibly involved in one of Monday's twin explosions.

Investigators are pursuing two people, one at each of the two sites where bombs detonated near the finish of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding 176, a federal law enforcement official said Thursday.

The official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said investigators were still seeking to question the men in the bombing inquiry, cautioning that it is not clear whether they are suspects or merely witnesses.
The promising developments build on a cache of video and photographs authorities have been examining since Monday's deadly blast.

At one of the bomb sites, several law enforcement officials told USA TODAY, surveillance video shows a man putting down a bag. The bag appears to be similar to the black nylon pack described earlier as possibly used to carry the explosive devices, the officials said.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday that responsibility for the Boston Marathon attack has yet to be linked to international or domestic terror groups or individuals.

"We don't know,'' Napolitano told a congressional panel, as investigators in Boston continue to pursue a number of promising leads in the case.

"The investigation is proceeding apace,'' she said.

Authorities were working to identify individuals at both sites, as well as a number of other people in video and photographs near the site of the explosions. More than 70 people remain hospitalized, with 14 listed in critical condition.

The promising photographic evidence emerged during a chaotic day Wednesday in which federal authorities dismissed a flurry of media reports, including dispatches from the Associated Press and CNN broadcasts, that a suspect had been taken into custody.

"Contrary to widespread reporting, there have been no arrests made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack,'' the FBI said in a statement.

Meanwhile, as investigators painstakingly gathered fragments of evidence from the bomb scene, a lid was recovered from a pressure cooker believed used as one of the explosive devices, a federal law enforcement official said. An official who had been briefed on the matter but was not authorized to comment publicly told USA TODAY the lid was found on a nearby roof.

The discovery came as Napolitano told a Senate panel in Washington on Wednesday that the Coast Guard worked with the Boston Police Department after the bombings to guard against any potential water-borne attack from Boston Harbor or the Charles River.

Napolitano said officials continue to investigate the bombings with the FBI as a solitary act of terror. "There is no current indication to suggest the attack was indicative of a broader plot," Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday. "But out of an abundance of caution, we continue to keep in place enhanced security measures, both seen and unseen."

Peter Burke, chief trauma surgeon at Boston Medical Center, said two of the 19 patients there still being treated remain in critical condition, including a 5-year-old boy. All are expected to survive, he said.
Burke said patients who required amputations or who lost limbs are now entering the second phase of their recovery, which is making sure that infection does not set in. "They get injured very quickly, but it takes a long time for people to get better," he said.

Evidence investigators from ATF, FBI and other federal agencies wearing protective suits continued to scour the crime scene Wednesday. Evidence trucks and mobile labs filled Exeter Street, the side street off Boylston closest to the blast sites.

The amount of gunpowder used in the bombings is believed to be a fraction of the overall weight of the devices, estimated to weigh about 20 pounds each, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.
Much of the weight was attributed to the pressure-cooker container and a mix of shrapnel — BB pellets and nail fragments — that cut a deadly path through the crowds gathered near the race finish line, said the official who is not authorized to speak publicly.

The official said the components of the bomb — common kitchen pressure cookers, wire, batteries and gunpowder — are so widely available that barring the assistance of an informant or a telling photo from the crime scene, it will likely take investigators some time to determine where the materials were obtained and who acquired them.

"This is either quick or it's not,'' the official said, referring to the identification of possible suspects, "and right now it's looking like not.''

At the same time, the official said, bomb technicians will likely be able to reconstruct much of the entire device, from both pieces recovered from the scene and the collective knowledge of investigators who have encountered similar devices in past investigations.

"They are going to be able to figure out how this device was acquired,'' the official said. "Depending on the trade craft involved, they will be able to do it relatively easily.''

Boston FBI chief Richard DesLauriers said the recovered materials were being examined at the FBI's laboratory in Quantico, Va., where the bureau has assembled a clearinghouse of improvised explosive devices recovered from such places as the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan and crime scenes around the country. Some evidence will undergo an expedited analysis, FBI spokesman special agent Jason Pack said.
The scene of the explosions is strewn with shredded T-shirts, metal fragments and glass shards. Boston police and National Guard members guard every access point, but from the side streets, spectators have watched the investigators at work.

The ATF's evidence recovery experts have found blast debris on rooftops and embedded in nearby buildings, acting ATF special agent Eugenio Marquez said. "It gives the scope of the power of the blast," Marquez said.

The latest discoveries came as investigators appealed to the public for videos and photos of the scene in hopes of getting an image of the person or persons who left the explosive devices near the finish line.
Authorities have yet to determine the motive for the bombings and are urging anyone with tips to come forward with information. "The person who did this was someone's friend, co-worker or neighbor," DesLauriers said. "Somebody knows who did this."

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosions and "the range of suspects and motives remain wide open."

Officials at a Northern California battery company said they believe a battery they manufacture was used in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Benjamin Mull, spokesman for Fremont-based Tenergy Corp., said that based on crime scene photos that have appeared online, the company believes one of its nickel-metal hydride batteries was used to make the bombs.

"We're all horrified and appalled that our off-the-shelf product would be used in such a horrific way," Mull said.

The company has reached out to Boston police and the FBI but hasn't heard directly from investigators, Mull said.

The company said the 1.25-volt battery seen in the photos is sold in retail outlets and is frequently used by hobbyists for various toys, including radio-controlled cars and trucks.

Tenergy has been selling the battery for several years and said it has sold "tens of thousands" of the particular battery in the past year.

Contributing: Bart Jansen; Associated Press
"USA Today"

Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects: City Locked Down as Manhunt Continues

By Scott Malone and Tim McLaughlin Reuters
2:30 p.m. CDT, April 19, 2013

"Chicago Tribune"

WATERTOWN, Mass.— Black Hawk helicopters and heavily armed police descended on a Boston suburb Friday in a massive search for an ethnic Chechen suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings, hours after his brother was killed by police in a late-night shootout.

The normally traffic-clogged streets of Boston were empty as the city went into virtual lockdown after a bloody night of shooting and explosions. Public transport was suspended, air space restricted and famous universities, including Harvard and MIT, closed after police ordered residents to remain at home.

Officials identified the hunted man as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and the dead suspect as his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed Thursday night in the working class suburb of Watertown.

Details emerged on Friday about the brothers, including their origins in the predominantly Muslim regions of Russia's Caucasus, which have experienced two decades of violence since the fall of the Soviet Union.

A man who said he was their uncle said the brothers came to the United States in the early 2000s and settled in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, area.

"I say what I think what's behind it - being losers," Ruslan Tsarni told reporters in suburban Washington. "Not being able to settle themselves and thereby hating everyone who did."

Tsarni said he had not spoken to the brothers since 2009.

He said Monday's bombings on the finish line of the world-famous Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 176 "put a shame on our family. It put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity.

The bombing, described by President Barack Obama as "an act of terrorism," was the worst such attack on U.S. soil since the plane hijackings of September 11, 2001.

The FBI said the twin blasts were caused by bombs in pressure cookers and carried in backpacks that were left near the marathon finish line as thousands of spectators gathered.

Authorities cordoned off a section of the suburb of Watertown and told residents not to leave their homes or answer the door as officers in combat gear scoured a 20-block area for the missing man, who was described as armed and dangerous.

The manhunt has covered 60 percent to 70 percent of the search area, Massachusetts State Police Colonel Timothy Alben said Friday afternoon. "We are progressing through this neighborhood, going door-to-door, street-to-street," he said.

Two Black Hawk helicopters circled the area. Amtrak said it was suspending train service between Boston and New York indefinitely and the Boston Red Sox postponed Friday night's baseball game at historic Fenway Park.

The events elicited a response from Moscow condemning terrorism and from the Russian-installed leader of Chechnya, who criticized police in Boston for killing an ethnic Chechen and blamed the violence on his upbringing in the United States.

"They grew up and studied in the United States and their attitudes and beliefs were formed there," Ramzan Kadyrov said in comments posted online. "Any attempt to make a connection between Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs is in vain.

The brothers had been in the United States for several years and were believed to be legal immigrants, according to U.S. government sources. Neither had been known as a potential security threat, a law enforcement official said on Friday.


In Watertown, the lockdown cleared the streets for police, who raced from one site to the next. The events stunned the former mill town, which has a large Russian-speaking community.

During the night, a university police officer was killed, a transit police officer was wounded, and the suspects carjacked a vehicle before leading police on a chase that led to Tamerlan Tsarnaev being shot dead.

"During the exchange of the gunfire, we believe that one of the suspects was struck and ultimately taken into custody," Alben said.

The suspect died of multiple injuries including gunshot wounds and trauma, said Dr. Richard Wolfe, chief of emergency medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The older brother was seen wearing a dark cap and sunglasses in surveillance images released by the FBI on Thursday. The younger Tsarnaev was shown wearing a white cap in the pictures, taken shortly before Monday's explosions.

"We believe this to be a terrorist," said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. "We believe this to be a man who has come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody." 

Copyright © 2013, Reuters
"Chicago Tribune"

Margaret  Thatcher  Memorial  Service

Margaret Thatcher
British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher,  (1975 - 1990)  passed away Monday April  8, 2013 at the age of 87.   Her state funeral took place at St. Paul's Cathedral in London on Tuesday of this week.  She was then remembered in a privet service for the family afterwards at Westminster Chapel. 

Thatcher was the longest serving British Prime Minister of the 20th. Century with three terms in office until her resignation in 1990.  She and her government were strong allies with the United States under NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and President Reagan.  Together under NATO they were able to bring about the peaceful collapse of the East German Government and the fall of the Berlin Wall.   The eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union (Russian) domination of Eastern Europe which then followed in 1991.  This brought about an end to the long running "Cold War" and to some extent, the Communist State as it had been known.  

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip were among the more than 2,000 mourners who attended the service. At least 170 countries were represented among them.  Mourners included Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and F.W. de Klerk, the last apartheid-era president of South Africa.  Former U.S.Vice-President Dick Cheney and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger attended but Nancy Reagan -- the widow of Thatcher's ally and former U.S. President Ronald Reagan -- was unable to attend and sent a representative in her place.

For this writer, instead of recalling what I'd liked about this world leader, I would have to ask, "what didn't I like about her".  Thatcher seemed to be the quintessential elected western  head of state in spades!  At times she seemed to be more regal that Queen Elizabeth II herself and that is something which is just not written about.  She, however, is certainly a role model for any young woman of our day. 

 Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gives a reading during the ceremonial funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at St Paul's Cathedral in London.
Christopher Furlong/AP

Britain Bids Farewell to Margaret Thatcher,
The Iron Lady

The Union Jack covers the coffin bearing Thatcher’s body during the funeral procession
in London.  Thatcher was Britain’s longest-ruling prime minister of the 20th century.

By Anthony Faiola and Eliza Mackintosh,
Apr 17, 2013 04:43 PM EDT

The Washington Post Published: April 17

LONDON — Britain bade a final farewell to Margaret Thatcher on Wednesday, silencing the bells of Big Ben and mounting a trademark display of sober pageantry for the funeral of a towering leader who, in death as in life, deeply divides the nation.

Although not a state funeral — an honor reserved largely for monarchs — the military honors and pomp unfurled for the event marked the most elaborate goodbye for any elected leader here since Winston Churchill. As the Union Jack flew at half-staff over No. 10 Downing Street, the hearse carrying the flag-covered casket of the Iron Lady wound along a historic two-mile route. For the final leg of the procession, the casket was transferred to a gun carriage drawn by six horses.

Tens of thousands of mourners and 4,000 police officers lined the route, which stretched from the Gothic spires of the Palace of Westminster, through Trafalgar Square and over to St. Paul’s Cathedral, where a service was later attended by more than 2,300 dignitaries and others.

Well-wishers waved flags, both of Britain and the Falkland Islands, the British territory Thatcher went to war to recover after an Argentine invasion. They had come, they said, to honor Britain’s longest-ruling prime minister of the 20th century, a woman whose steely will is credited with rebuilding the country’s global status, accelerating the fall of the Berlin Wall and modernizing the domestic economy.

“She truly was an Iron Lady. She is what made Great Britain great,” said Maureen Mann, 71, whose husband and son fought in the 1982 Falklands War. Mann’s family traveled hours from central England to stand along the procession route. “Thatcher fought fiercely for that little island and the people on it. We feel a great sense of pride in that.”

Margaret Fowler, who, like Thatcher, is a grocer’s daughter, left Oxford for London at 5 a.m. to find a good spot along the route. “She put Britain back on its feet. When you see the people turning out here, you can see the support for her still,” Fowler said.

Conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic came to pay their respects, with former U.S. secretaries of state George Shultz, James A. Baker III and Henry Kissinger joining British Prime Minister David Cameron and John Major, one of Cameron’s Conservative predecessors.

In accordance with Thatcher’s wishes, the service was quintessentially British, including pieces by English composers Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, delivered a blessing. Cameron and Thatcher’s American-born granddaughter, Amanda, offered readings.

Amanda Thatcher, 19, drew particular accolades for her composure as she read a New Testament verse that spoke to her grandmother’s strength: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The Rev. Richard Chartres, a family friend and the bishop of London, told the mourners that Thatcher had requested not a typical eulogy, laced with her political accomplishments, but a more simple and personal address. He delivered just that, reflecting on a young boy who had once written Thatcher asking whether prime ministers, like Jesus Christ, never made mistakes. Thatcher’s life, Chartres acknowledged, had been stormy. But as her remains rested in the church, he said, now “there is a great calm.”

“At such a time, the parson should not aspire to the judgments which are proper to the politician,” he said. “Instead, this is a place for ordinary human compassion of the kind that is reconciling.”

After the service, the coffin was carried to a hearse waiting at the foot of the cathedral’s west steps. A private cremation was held later in the day. Thatcher’s remains will be interred next to the spot at the Royal Hospital Chelsea where her husband, Denis Thatcher, was laid to rest in 2003.

Ed Miliband, head of a Labor Party that was forced to shift to the center after Thatcher’s 11 years in office, led those from the opposition who were present at St. Paul’s. But not all of Thatcher’s opponents were as forgiving. Furious Labor lawmakers sought to block a move to delay the start of Parliament on Wednesday so members of the House of Commons could attend Thatcher’s funeral. Several also railed against the decision to silence Big Ben for the event and to have taxpayers largely foot the 10 million pound ($15 million) bill for the funeral procession; Thatcher’s estate was to cover at least some of the costs.

“This is over the top,” said John Mann, a national Labor lawmaker. “Not even the German Luftwaffe could silence Big Ben. And I would be surprised if Margaret Thatcher herself would approve of the 10 million pound bill.”

Cameron defended the scale of the funeral, telling the BBC that the plans were made long ago. “She was an extraordinary woman, and it was right to mark her passing in this way,” he said.

On Tuesday, a more intimate service was held at the Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft in the House of Commons for family, friends and lawmakers.

British authorities reviewed security plans after the bombings this week in Boston. But Scotland Yard said no additional precautions were taken for the funeral, which was always going to be a massive security operation.
Police had feared rowdy protests, along the lines of one in London over the weekend. But Wednesday, Thatcher’s supporters far outnumbered the small groups of protesters peppering the route. Anti-Thatcher chants by some prompted sharp retorts from nearby mourners. At one point, protesters appeared to throw something at the horses pulling the hearse. A cluster of Thatcher opponents turned their backs on the parade.
“We lived through Thatcher destroying this country,” said Bryony Nierop-Reading, a 68-year-old retired teacher. “We used to be a rich, powerful, industrial nation, and she destroyed the working class.”

In Goldthorpe, a town in the South Yorkshire region hit hard when Thatcher broke the coal miners unions in the 1980s, an open coffin containing an effigy of the late prime minister was set ablaze Wednesday as hundreds watched.

“In death as in life, Margaret Thatcher has drawn both praise and opposition,” William Hague, Britain’s foreign minister, said in a speech Tuesday evening, noting that Thatcher would not have minded the divergent views about her legacy.

“She, who prized freedom above all things, would not be in the slightest bit upset by the disagreement,” Hague said. “Some of us, including me, will always be inspired and shaped by her achievements, while others may never reconcile themselves to her policies or to her character. The right to form our own opinions on that count is fundamental to our democracy.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, her husband, attended Wednesday’s service despite long-standing reports of differences between the nation’s two most powerful women.

“I think the queen is making quite a big statement by going,” said Jane Tate, 48, a dressmaker from Kent who watched the procession on the Strand with her two young daughters. “Despite what people might say, the queen respected Thatcher because of the position she reached and all of the works she did for this country.”

"The Washington Post"

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