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CJ-530-X5021 19TW5: 1-2 Short Paper: Comparing Terrorism Ideology 1 CJ-530-X5021 Global Terrorism 19TW5 1-2 Short Paper: Comparing Terrorism Ideology Michael Anthony Southern New Hampshire University
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CJ-530-X5021 2 1996 Centennial Olympic Park & 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing A crudely made pipe bomb that was tucked away in a knapsack exploded in a crowd at the Olympic Games in Atlanta 1996. Seventeen years later, two separate devices also placed in knapsacks went off at the finish of the Boston Marathon. Four deaths and over 370 injuries can be attributed to both events. Subsequent manhunts led to the capture of the Centennial Park bomber as well as one of two brothers involved in the Boston attack; the elder brother died following a shootout with police. Although many similarities exist between these two acts of terrorism, several aspects in each case will reveal differences between them. This paper will examine the connections and disparities related to the situations in Atlanta and Boston in terms of ideology, public reaction, media coverage, and the tactics used to carry out these crimes. Tactics On the surface, the Centennial Park bombing parallels the explosions at the Boston Marathon in 2013 since both devices were transported in duffel bags. The apparatus used in Atlanta at the Olympic Games was found to be a single, homemade pipe bomb which was crude in its design. By contrast the two instruments detonated near the finish of the Boston Marathon were slightly more advanced. “[W]ith more than 5,600 runners still in the race, two pressure- cooker bombs—packed with shrapnel and hidden in backpacks among crowds of marathon- watchers—exploded within seconds of each other near the finish line along Boylston Street” (History, 2019). As the case along Boylston Street, the backpack in Centennial Park was placed by the perpetrator(s) unattended before triggering the blast.
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CJ-530-X5021 3 Targets The crowds attending the Olympic Games and the road race in Boston were large in numbers and were also attending a major sporting event. In addition, the targets selected by the offenders were soft targets; innocent, non-combative citizens. “Victims of terrorist attacks are not usually specifically selected on the basis of their individual characteristics, but are "chance" victims who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. These victims serve as an
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  • Fall '19
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, Olympic Games, Centennial Olympic Park bombing, 1996 Summer Olympics

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