Nightmare realized: Counterterrorism officials long feared IEDs would make way to U.S. shores

  • ** FILE ** Bill Iffrig, 78, lies on the ground as police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Iffrig, of Lake Stevens, Wash., was running his third Boston Marathon and near the finish line when he was knocked down by one of two bomb blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, John Tlumacki)** FILE ** Bill Iffrig, 78, lies on the ground as police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Iffrig, of Lake Stevens, Wash., was running his third Boston Marathon and near the finish line when he was knocked down by one of two bomb blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, John Tlumacki)
  • ** FILE ** In this image from video provided by WBZ TV, spectators and runners run from what was described as twin explosions that shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Boston. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/WBZTV)** FILE ** In this image from video provided by WBZ TV, spectators and runners run from what was described as twin explosions that shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Boston. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/WBZTV)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013.  Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical responders run an injured man past the finish line the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Medical responders run an injured man past the finish line the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical workers aid an injured man at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two bombs exploded near the finish of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing at least two people, injuring at least 22 others and sending authorities rushing to aid wounded spectators. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L. Ryan)Medical workers aid an injured man at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two bombs exploded near the finish of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing at least two people, injuring at least 22 others and sending authorities rushing to aid wounded spectators. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L. Ryan)
  • Police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe,  John Tlumacki)Police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, John Tlumacki)
  • Emergency responders aid a woman on a stretcher who was injured in a bomb blast near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. Two bombs exploded in the packed streets near the finish line of the marathon on Monday, killing at least two people and injuring more than 80, authorities said. (AP Photo/Jeremy Pavia)Emergency responders aid a woman on a stretcher who was injured in a bomb blast near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. Two bombs exploded in the packed streets near the finish line of the marathon on Monday, killing at least two people and injuring more than 80, authorities said. (AP Photo/Jeremy Pavia)
  • Chris Darmody, right, holds his wife Sue in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Chris says he was waiting for Sue when an explosion detonated near his location at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The couple were later reunited after all runners were diverted from the course. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Chris Darmody, right, holds his wife Sue in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Chris says he was waiting for Sue when an explosion detonated near his location at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The couple were later reunited after all runners were diverted from the course. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
  • Blood from victims covers the sidewalk on Boylston Street, at the site of an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. At the right foreground is a folding chair with the design of an American flag on the cover.  Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Blood from victims covers the sidewalk on Boylston Street, at the site of an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. At the right foreground is a folding chair with the design of an American flag on the cover. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the marathon's finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)Medical workers aid injured people at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the marathon's finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)
  • In this photo provided by The Daily Free Press and Kenshin Okubo, people react to an explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Daily Free Press, Kenshin Okubo) MANDATORY CREDITIn this photo provided by The Daily Free Press and Kenshin Okubo, people react to an explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Daily Free Press, Kenshin Okubo) MANDATORY CREDIT
  • ** FILE ** A firefighter tends to an injured man following an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)** FILE ** A firefighter tends to an injured man following an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
  • One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated and guarded by police in the wake of two blasts in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated and guarded by police in the wake of two blasts in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Aerial view of the aftermath of the explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Twitter phot: Bruce Mendelsohn)Aerial view of the aftermath of the explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Twitter phot: Bruce Mendelsohn)
  • Photo of the aftermath of a suspected explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Twitter photo/Tyler Wakstein)Photo of the aftermath of a suspected explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Twitter photo/Tyler Wakstein)
  • Medical workers aid an injured man at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two bombs exploded near the finish of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing two people, injuring 22 others and sending authorities rushing to aid wounded spectators, race organizers and police said. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Medical workers aid an injured man at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two bombs exploded near the finish of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing two people, injuring 22 others and sending authorities rushing to aid wounded spectators, race organizers and police said. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)  Medical workers aid injured people at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions near the finish of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing at least  two people, injuring over 20 others. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions near the finish of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing at least two people, injuring over 20 others. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Boston police clear an area following an explosion near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Boston police clear an area following an explosion near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following explosions in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following explosions in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical workers aid an injured person at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)  Medical workers aid an injured person at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)  Medical workers aid injured people at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)  Medical workers aid injured people at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)
  • An unidentified Boston Marathon runner is comforted as she cries in the aftermath of two blasts which exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) An unidentified Boston Marathon runner is comforted as she cries in the aftermath of two blasts which exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Two Boston Marathon volunteers hug each other, at right, as an injured person is loaded into an ambulance in the aftermath of two blasts which exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Two Boston Marathon volunteers hug each other, at right, as an injured person is loaded into an ambulance in the aftermath of two blasts which exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Medical personnel work outside the medical tent in the aftermath of two blasts which exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Medical personnel work outside the medical tent in the aftermath of two blasts which exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Medical workers and authorities work on the scene near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/WCVB-TV/ABC)Medical workers and authorities work on the scene near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/WCVB-TV/ABC)
  • Emergency workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Emergency workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • A Boston police officer clears Boylston Street following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)A Boston police officer clears Boylston Street following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • A Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner following an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the marathon's finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)A Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner following an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the marathon's finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • Medical workers wheel the injured across the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Medical workers wheel the injured across the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • President Barack Obama arrives to speak in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)President Barack Obama arrives to speak in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • ** FILE ** President Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, April 15, 2013. (Associated Press)** FILE ** President Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, April 15, 2013. (Associated Press)
  • ** FILE ** President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)** FILE ** President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
  • President Obama leaves the podium after speaking in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington on April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (Associated Press)President Obama leaves the podium after speaking in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington on April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (Associated Press)
  • ** FILE ** One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated by two people in protective suits in the wake of two blasts in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)** FILE ** One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated by two people in protective suits in the wake of two blasts in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated by a person in a protective suit in the wake of two blasts in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated by a person in a protective suit in the wake of two blasts in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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Long before the gruesome bombings at the Boston marathon, U.S. counterterrorism officials feared that the improvised explosive devices used so effectively by insurgents on the Iraq and Afghanistan battlefields might one day make their way to U.S. shores.

And as authorities sift the crime scene for clues about who carried out Monday’s attack that killed three and injured more than 140, a new question lingers over the Homeland Security front: Has America entered a new era of terrorism in which small, easily hidden bombs that can wreak panic and carnage supplant or augment the larger-scale terrorist attacks favored by traditional terrorist groups like al-Qaida or home-grown white supremacists like Timothy McVeigh?


SEE ALSO: Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick: No unexploded bombs found at Boston Marathon


“The Boston bombing is the worst of what we thought was coming to our country, but we hoped it never would – IED bombings,” said Thomas Creal, who tracked terrorism financing for a U.S. military task force in Afghanistan.

Boston hospitals reported a large number of multiple amputations and critically injured patients with severe lower extremity injuries, the sort of injuries the U.S. military has seen on a near daily basis from IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan. An 8-year-old boy was among the dead, according to law enforcement officials. As of late Monday night, 144 people were counted as injured, among them were four children 12 and under being treated for their injuries at Boston Children’s Hospital.

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    It is still uncertain what groups or people are behind the bombing, but it appeared to be a well coordinated attack, according to federal law enforcement officials.

    James Carafano, a senior defense analyst with The Heritage Foundation, said “IEDs are the weapon du jour of terrorists” and difficult to defend against.

    “This is our classic threat profile,” said Carafano.  “There are some common sense precautions we take, but in a public area like that of the marathon it’s almost impossible to be full proof.”

    He noted that the Boston bombing isn’t the first attempt by terrorists to target crowded venues or use low-level weaponry to inflict mass casualties. For instance, the Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hassan who was in contact with al-Qaeda in Yemen, gunned down 13 people and attempted to kill 32 others in  a crowded area of the base.


    SEE ALSO: Stunned Americans grieve as portraits of Boston Marathon bombing victims emerge


    Other attacks in the U.S. have either been thwarted by authorities or have failed due to faulty equipment, like that of the attempted 2010 Times Square bombing. Faisal Shahzad, who was trained in bomb making, failed to detonate his car bomb, which was discovered by a street vendor who reported it to the police.

    “The only difference between this bomb and the bomb in New York’s Times Square, is that the bomb in Times Square didn’t go off,” Carafano said.

    A U.S. military official, with extensive knowledge of IEDs and who has served in multiple war zones, said law enforcement officials “have every right to fear these types of IED attacks in the United States against vulnerable citizens.”

    The military official said based on the evidence made public by law enforcement the devices could have been made with locally purchased products, such as the ball bearings found at the scene.

    “The thing with an IEDs, it costs a million fold plus to thwart the attacks, than it does to make an actual bomb,” the military official said. “I can make a bomb for 200 bucks with stuff bought at a store but it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to ramp up security, conduct searches, investigation costs and local law enforcement costs.”

    “This type of terrorist incident makes it possible for a poorly financed person or group to scare an entire nation with a single act of terrorism,” the official added.

    Law enforcement officials say the bombings were part of a well-organized attack. At least one Saudi citizen, in his early 20s, is being questioned by authorities as a person of interest in the bombings, according to numerous officials and news reports.

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