We all knew that the Tsarnaev brothers had at last been captured, but we also did not largely realize how on earth misidentified ‘suspects’ like Sunil Tripathi or Salah Eddhi Barhoum had been fleeing as well.
Boston bombing, compared to other similar occurrences, was one to be the most widely reported either on mass or social media, and also the one most widely misinformed. CNN became the first to report that ‘arrests’ had been made – and also the first to commit so large a mistake that the Americans thought a Negro could have committed such brutality. Then the photos of Sunil Tripathi went viral in Internet, resulting in one of the biggest manhunts in the city’s history, only to track out the whereabouts of the Brown University student. Barhoum, a Moroccan student, was overtly traumatized when FBI agents, ‘thanks’ to the information by mass media, mistook him for doing the terrorist act.
The fallacies were not over until the two brothers showed up in the MIT shooting (and also a little bombing in an infinitesimal section of Harvard), leaving Boston and its surrounding cities like Cambridge and Watertown, known for tranquility and a high-profile sense of Cantabrigian, ivory-tower intellectualism, into full-day ghost towns. Police and military troops patrolled the streets and avenues as though they were a war zone, while the brothers, using a hijacked car, threw grenades throughout the the circumstances.
And there came the most unexpected fact largely unknown to American public: this was a first time that Chechen sympathizers, the name which was the least associated with ‘radical Islam’ compared to Afghanistan or Iraq, could orchestrate such a deadly attack in a nation already traumatized by the intimidating 911 experience. It became both a lesson for United States, for it should not overlook ‘minor harbingers’ like they had placed too much attention merely on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and countries elsewhere in Middle East, and for Russia as well, a country already exhausted, and largely ignorant, of the ongoing wars in the volatile autonomous region of Chechnya.
That could be dubbed another ‘black swan phenomenon’, an unexpected, unpredictable event beyond all our control.
Read further as Tauriq Moosa, a South African blogger, attempts to explain further about media inconsistencies in Big Think.
And also one not to be missed: why the brothers, one known to be a ‘first-stage’ hard-liner, the other one a moderate Muslim, could have instigated such chaos.