Forty-eight hours after Monday’s horrific terrorist attack targeting the Boston Marathon, which left 3 people dead and close to 200 injured, extremist and anti-government conspiracy theories about who was responsible are spreading across the Internet.
The lack of information currently available to the public about possible perpetrators has not kept extremists from jumping to conclusions. Conspiracy theorists spanning the ideological spectrum – from anti-Muslim bigots to white supremacists – have accused different groups and individuals of perpetrating the bombing.
Here’s just a sampling of these accusations. A comprehensive overview of extremist reactions to the Boston attack can be found here: Boston Bombing Prompts Extremist Conspiracy Theories.
Conspiracy theorist Mark Glenn claimed that the bombing in Boston may have been orchestrated by Israel as a “way of not only rubbing manure in Barack Obama’s face” but also to demonstrate what Israel is capable of doing to the United States. He blamed the Jewish community and the State of Israel for a number of attacks against Americans, adding “You in the Jewish community and in the pro-Israel community…you have a criminal record.” Glenn concluded, “It is very possible that this is an Israeli false flag event, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Others claimed they were sure Muslims were behind the attack. Quran-burning Florida pastor Terry Jones released a statement that read, “Is it an Islamic attack? It looks like it. The bombing came on Patriots Day. It has all of the earmarkings (sic) of an Islamic attack but will there again be a great coverup by the Great Satan Obama? His Administration, the people he has surrounded himself with, are all some type of closet Muslims, heavily influenced by Islam because of their background.”
Anti-government extremists have described the attack as a “false flag” operation orchestrated by the U.S. government as a pretext to curtail Americans’ civil liberties.
Other extreme organizations seemed satisfied with the attack and went so far as to describe it as a divine act. The virulently homophobic Westboro Baptist Church, for example, announced that it would picket the victims’ funerals and that the attack was a result of God’s anger about gay rights in America.