- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 21, 2013

Counterterrorism expert Philip Mudd, discussing on “Fox News Sunday” the motives behind last week’s Boston Marathon bombing, suggested the suspected bombers acted autonomously.

“I would charge these guys as murderers, not terrorists,” the former FBI and CIA agent said of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. He compared the bombing Monday to that of the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School.

“Do you think we have to fear copycats — more of these small, domestic terror cells — and how does law enforcement need to respond more effectively, not necessary to catch them, they did that pretty well, but to prevent it in the first place,” host Chris Wallace asked the terror expert.

Mr. Mudd replied that with an event so widely publicized as the Boston bombings that it’s almost inevitable that copycat threats will arise.

“What I fear, though, is that people too quickly categorize this as terrorism,” he said. “This looks more to me like Columbine than it does like al Qaeda. Two kids who radicalized between themselves in a closed circle and go out and commit murder. I would charge these guys as murderers, not terrorists.”

The Fox News host remained skeptical, adding that Russian authorities had identified the older Tsarnaev brother, Tamerlan, as being influenced by radical Islam while in Chechnya.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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