Pakistani Taliban deny responsibility for Boston Marathon bombings

The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan denied that it executed yesterday’s bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon that killed three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and wounded 144 more, some seriously.

“We believe in attacking US and its allies but we are not involved in this attack,” Ihsanullah Ihsan, the top spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, told AFP. “We have no connection to this bombing but we will continue to target them wherever possible.”

The Movement of the Taliban had been quick to claim credit for the failed Times Square bombing on May 1, 2010. Within hours of attempting to detonate a car bomb in the heart of New York City, the Pakistani Taliban sent two videotapes to The Long War Journal , one of its emir, Hakeemullah Mehsud, and another of Qari Hussain, a trainer of suicide bombers, claiming the attack. Months later, the Pakistani Taliban released a videotape of Hakeemullah Mehsud talking with Faisal Shahzad, the operative who built and attempted to detonate the car bomb.

No group has claimed credit for yesterday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon.

The two blasts near the finish line of the marathon occurred within seconds of each other. The bombs were detonated some 50 to 100 yards apart on the same side of the street as runners were crossing the finish line.

Officials said that three people were killed in the blasts, at least 144 were wounded; 17 are said to be in critical condition and 25 more are seriously hurt. Some of the injuries are severe; more than a dozen amputations have been reported.

There are conflicting reports about unexploded explosive devices that were recovered. Some reports say that upwards of five such devices were found, while others say none were found. The bombs are said to have been made with gunpowder and packed with materials to maximize injuries.

There are also conflicting reports about a third, possibly related incident, which occurred over an hour later, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Dorchester, a few miles away. It has been described variously as a fire and an explosion, and authorities have not definitively ruled out a connection to the Marathon bombings.

Local and federal agencies are still gathering clues on the perpetrators of the bombings. A law enforcement advisory has been issued that warned police to be on the lookout for a “darker-skinned or black male” with a foreign accent. The man was seen with a backpack and was attempting to gain access to a secured area just minutes prior to the bombings.

Additionally, a 20-year-old Saudi citizen who was wounded in the blast is currently being questioned by the FBI and is a person of interest, according to reports. Authorities have searched his apartment but police have not said if evidence linking him to the attack has been found.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.


  • Christina says:

    I think its very ignorant for the police to be questioning a man who was hurt from the attack…I feel like all crimes are assumed to be done by a certain race. Just because he is Saudi doesn’t mean he is automatically responsible. I just don’t understand whyhb people want to hurt people. This world is falling apart because of mankind.

  • Lapazjim says:

    If the Taliban or Al-Queda had been involved even in a minor way they would most likely have taken credit for it by now.if these bombs were as crude as we have been told then I believe it was most likely a domestic individual/s that committed it. Its sad when and if the country has individuals that kill innocent people for some lame reason!!

  • Quirt Evans says:

    As usual, if we find out that the bombers came from a countryu that gives us oil we won’t do anything.

  • Louis Kuhelj says:

    I find it intriguing that the present administration is more concerned about the human rights violations of Russia than it is in the terrorist threat, both internal and external. It shows that even though it has been in power for over 4 years, this administration is not capable of learning anything. I guess that is just the way things are when your life skills reduce to voting “present”.

  • SlayerMill says:

    @ Christina.
    Was the Saudi Arabian man arrested? No, he was questioned and is not even considered a suspect. At this point who knows if a Saudi Arabian man was actually even questioned, it’s too early to know anything right now. This is why I can’t stand the news immediately following a tragedy. The media flock like vultures to capitalize on everyone’s anguish in hopes of being the first to uncover any little crumb of information about what happened. Also, for anyone who says they didn’t immediately assume this attack was carried out by a fringe, extremist, Muslim, terrorist organization, they’re lying to no end. I’m not accusing anyone in particular of carrying out the attack, I’m just pointing out everyone’s IMMEDIATE thought. The bottom line is cooler heads will prevail and we’ll know soon enough who’s responsible.
    What makes you so certain Al Qaeda or any other Muslim terrorist organization would’ve taken credit already? Didn’t bin Laden deny involvement with 9/11 initially? If I remember correctly, though I could be wrong, I think he didn’t admit his involvement until a video meant for his followers was found where he admitted to it. If I’m wrong I apologize and hope someone corrects my error.

  • JT says:

    Many of the people who abuse 20:20 hindsight and claim not enough was done to prevent such event(s) also claim that nobody should be questioned. How are people supposed to investigate?

  • James says:

    This was the result of taliban up and comers to prove their allegence. They have to prove to the senior members what lengths they will go to in order to belong.

  • JT says:

    Based on the reaction from the US following the one other obviously significant successful terrorist attack in this country on 9-11-2001, it should not be surprising that no organization would want to claim “credit” right now or in the short term. Just ask the Taliban and those in Afghanistan. In the next few days, shock and sadness will turn to anger. When the US is truly united and motivated, no one wants to be the clear enemy.
    I am not saying that any one group did this. I have no idea. But no one wants to admit it now. Obvious possibilities include:
    1. nut job who hates taxation (it was 4-15).
    2. nut job who hates anything the US does or wants to make [local/state/federal] govt look bad.
    3. jihadists
    4. unknown kooks (a la unabomber, McVeigh, etc.).

  • Matt says:

    That has been a thing lately no claim of responsibility, dodgy methods and implementation, soft targets. Those behind recent attacks mask their involvement. Using fronts you can see that in Burgas remote detonation not a suicide bomber but made to appear as. Not al-Qaida either. No one really knows who was truly behind the Turkish embassy bombing. All that aside it works under the radar and the attacks succeed. Burgas, Boston. Crude but affective. More likely a lone wolf than compartmentalized cell, acting as a front.

  • This type of attack was used by an Al Queda affliated group in India called the Indian Mujahadden. They use crude devices like pressure cooker, tiffin boxes, trasistor radios, cycles etc to plant their bomb as they did in Pune,Hyderabad, Delhi and now in Bnagalore. Normally they use ammonium nitrate which is not controlled in India.Americans must pay attention to the bomb attacks throughout the world as less sophisticated it is, it becomes difficult to detect.

  • @ James
    “This was the result of taliban up and comers to prove their allegence. They have to prove to the senior members what lengths they will go to in order to belong.”
    When did the Taliban become a trans-national ‘terrorist’ organization?
    Do members of the Taliban have to ‘prove’ their ‘allegiance’ by carrying out an act first before becoming actual members?
    I don’t know James…

  • Bill Roggio says:

    The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan was added to the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations on Sept. 1, 2010:
    This is what State has to say about the group:
    “TTP [Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan] and al Qaeda have a symbiotic relationship; TTP draws ideological guidance from al Qaeda, while al Qaeda relies on TTP for safe haven in the Pashtun areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border. This mutual cooperation gives TTP access to both al Qaeda’s global terrorist network and the operational experience of its members. Given the proximity of the two groups and the nature of their relationship, TTP is a force multiplier for al Qaeda.”
    The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan also was responsible for the failed Times Square bombing (as noted above).
    As far as the allegiance issue, I agree with you, there is no such requirement to conduct an attack to prove allegiance.

  • @ Bill Roggio
    Thank you for the knowledge Bill, I very much appreciate it.

  • mike merlo says:

    My ‘guess’ on the Boston Bombers:
    60’s style radicals ala The Weather Underground
    I figure they’re one of the extremist elements of The OWS – Occupy Wall Street – crowd. Probably an extreme radical fringe of the Anarchist’s, EcoTerrorists etc.,. You know the anti-establishment crowd harping about the New World Order, Federal Reserve, Corporations, WTO etc.,.
    They’re either thinkin Canada or sleazin about with their fellow Latte Leftist’s, Cafe Communist’s, Basement Bolsheviks etc.,.

  • Charu says:

    As the captain noted, the pressure cooker, a staple in South Asian kitchens, is a favorite tool for the Indian Mujahudeen. The IM receives training from the ISI and their Lashkar proxies, who may have branched out to their diaspora in the US. The TTP has training camps inside Pakistan, but they don’t really have the capability of Al Qaeda or the LeT to mount a transnational operation like this; the failed Times Square attempt notwithstanding. Let me know when the ISI gets added to the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.

  • Mr T says:

    It is being reported the instructions to build a pressure cooker bomb is in the Al Qaeda publication Inspire. Most anyone can get ahold of that publication and see how to make one. It is very dangerous and requires more skill than just reading the article.
    It also requires more resources than most individuals possess. That is even more true if there are multiple people involved and if you want to cover your tracks. More people means more tracks to cover. The first bomb appeared smaller than the second bomb which may indicate the builder was inexperienced.
    Theres a good chance this was the work of a small group inspired by Al Qaeda and possibly even funded by elements of foreign terrorist groups. It seems likely to be more than one person because the bombs must have been heavy. To carry two of them and walk around would possibly draw attention to the bomber and compromise the entire operation.

  • blert says:

    The FBI have two persons of interest that they really want to talk to…
    Neither looks Nordic, nor African.
    The lone wolf has at least a buddy, it would seem.
    Perhaps Algerian-Canadians?
    AQIM is screaming for blood after their hostage attrocities, after Mali.

  • mike merlo says:

    Kyrgyzstan? Now that’s an interesting twist

  • CoinCenturion says:

    Bill, group,
    What are your thoughts on WHY the TTP were so quick to deny responsibility? Is it possible armed UAV ops in the FATA are having a deterrent effect?

  • banshee says:

    It seems like everyone wants to draw some connection to Al Qaeda to make this story somehow bigger…There are plenty of crazy people who dont need a terrorist organization support to carry out an attack…Just look a Newton, look at all the damage he did. This attack was too crude to have had financial support of any kind, there was no exit strategy or anything

  • mike merlo says:

    while in general I agree with you but how does what you ‘said’ explain the likes of Faisal Shahzad, Iyman Faris, Hamid Hayat, or a host of ‘other’s?’


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