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The Boston Marathon Bombing And America’s Terror Threat Now

One year after the Boston Marathon bombing, we look at national and local security on the terrorism front now, and what we’ve learned.

A crowd gathers at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot before the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, Saturday, April 12, 2014. (AP)

A crowd gathers at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot before the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, Saturday, April 12, 2014. (AP)

One year ago today, the homemade bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  In the heart of a great American city, on a beautiful spring day, at the finish line of a usually joyous event, there was blood and mayhem.  Three dead.  More than 200 wounded.  Sixteen people had limbs amputated.  Terrorism.  It was the most deadly terror attack in the streets of the country since 9/11.  It was homegrown, and shocking.  One year on, what is the terror threat in this country now? This hour On Point:  national security, local security, one year after the Boston Marathon bombing.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Boeri, senior reporter, WBUR. (@davidboeri)

David Cid, executive director at the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. Author of “Understanding Counterterrorism: A Guide for Law Enforcement, Policy Makers and Media.”

David Schanzer, professor at the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy. Director of the Triangle Center of Terrorism and Homeland Security. (@schanzerdavid)

Maria Cramer, metro reporter for the Boston Globe. (@GlobeMCramer)

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN: Four things we learned about the Boston bombing – “Also, at first blush, the Tsarnaev brothers appeared to be so-called ‘clean skins’ who had no previous history of criminality, and therefore there was little reason that law enforcement should have been monitoring either of them. Similarly, both appeared to be regular guys with no history of mental disorders.”

New Jersey Star-Ledger: Homegrown terrorism threat was overhyped –“Our law enforcement agencies have a far more balanced understanding of the nature of the extremist threat than many of those providing public commentary after the Boston attacks. A nationwide survey of law enforcement agencies we are conducting in collaboration with the Police Executive Research Forum shows that more than half of the agencies report little or no threat from al Qaeda-inspired extremism. Only 2 percent report the threat as ‘severe.'”

Boston Globe: Security will be high at Marathon finish line — “The extra cots are meant to prepare for the larger field of runners with 36,000 people registered to run the race, 9,000 more than usual and the second largest field in race history. Only the Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996 drew a greater number, with more than 38,000 people signing up.”

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