At National Journal, Michael Hirsch wrote:

The timing of the Boston bombing, coming on Patriots Day in Massachusetts, might well suggest [a U.S. right-wing extremist group] says Jessica Stern, a terrorism expert at Harvard University. … “All these discussions about whether they’re going to take away our guns would be another reason to suspect anti-government groups. The other thing that points in the direction of right-wing nuts is the date.”

Patriots’ Day, which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord and is celebrated in Massachusetts on the third Monday of April, “has been for long time exciting day to be an extremist violent group,” says Stern. The Oklahoma City bombing of 1995, the Columbine high school massacre allegedly timed with Hitler’s birthday, and a more obscure incident in which authorities raided a compound occupied by a radical “Christian Identity” group called The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord” in 1985 all occurred in April. “This whole week is a very important week for right-wing extremists,” adds Stern.

On the other hand, as Ms. Stern wrote in Time magazine, pressure-cookers packed with hardware-store shrapnel such as nails and ball bearings have

… been used around the world, including in the Mumbai attacks of 2006 [and] was recently promoted in an article titled “How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” in the summer 2010 issue of al-Qaeda’s online magazine Inspire. The Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad followed the recipe, though Shahzad’s bomb would have killed many more people than the relatively small bombs in Boston.

The question arises: If the bombers were Islamist extremists, did they use the date and venue to deflect blame onto American white supremacists? Which gives rise to other questions: Would the former be aware of how important the day, week, month, and city are to the latter? More to the point, wouldn’t Islamist extremists they want to turn the violence into a statement by claiming responsibility?

Perhaps more likely though, especially since no one has yet brought the presence of Middle Easterners to our attention — except for innocent Saudis* lucky to escape with their lives and limbs — white supremacists chose the type of weapon to cast blame on Islamist extremists.

*To see how sympathetic some Saudis were to the suffering in Boston, visit the Saudi blog Riyadh Bureau.

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