The identity of a group of men present at the Boston Marathon bombings has been revealed as the Massachusetts National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (CST), a federally funded taskforce used in every state that advises event planners, police and responders in case of a WMD attack. Various other National Guard units were also present.
The official Air National Guard website reports…
In Boston, more than 850 National Guard members were on duty to assist local authorities with logistics, security and other operations. In addition to the CST members, the team also included members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s 387th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and the 267th Combat Communications Squadron from the Massachusetts Air National Guard. The 267th CCS brings with them the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability, which allows voice, radio and data communication across multiple systems used by first responders.
“The National Guard can be relied upon for our diverse emergency response and rapid deployment capabilities during times of need in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” said Air Force Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard.
The CST unit appears to have been deployed both before and after the bombings, with some in the direct vicinity of the first explosion.
They are recognized in photos by their tanned trousers, boots and caps, with some of them wearing black vests with the CST stamp, or plain black jackets. The unit uses various black military style vehicles and SUVs. Here is an image of their NY counterpart vehicles for comparison, courtesy of a DVIDSHub.net article.
Here is a photo of some of the CST deploying in the aftermath of the Boston blasts.
Here is a member of the unit after the first explosion using a radiation detector.
Possible Prior intelligence
At least two likely members of the CST were photographed prior to the first explosion, in the immediate vicinity of the device, although one of them is wearing a hat similar to that of Navy Seals and the uniform of private security firm Craft, who may have also been assisting. So far he is the only person photoed wearing that particular style of hat, which is also the logo for Marvel’s the Punisher comic.
The explosion took place near the finish line, opposite the bleachers, where people were standing and watching.
The duo miraculously manage to avoid the explosion, and make their way to the road where they’re photographed using ear-pieces or cell phones, possibly calling in more CST and other units that arrive shortly after.
Here is the CST and possible FBI units arriving at the scene after the phone calls.
What we can deduce from this is that they came extremely close to the explosive device and/or whoever dropped the bag, and managed to leave the area and/or take cover so as not to be harmed by the explosion. The questions then become what lead them to that area, did they manage to spot anything, and what prompted them to get out of there before the explosion? A coincidence or intelligence?
Authorities have claimed there was no prior intelligence about the explosions, but that’s generally the standard line in all terrorist incidents. From 9/11 to the 7/7 bombings in London it invariably turns out that they were well prepared based on years of intelligence warnings and subsequent training exercises. In this case, at the very least there was a generalized suspicion of a threat, else there wouldn’t have been a drill in the morning or a WMD task-force on the scene.
Authorities and the mainstream media are keeping quiet, but what needs to be ascertained is the specific directive that put these units where they were and why.
Was it simply a case of the overbearing security state taking heed of past incidents, such as the suspected bomb at the 2010 Pittsburgh Marathon, that turned out to be a microwave? Or the successful attack at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta?
FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino, was previously the Chief of Boston Emergency Medical Services, and Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. In 2008 he planned a “Mass Casualty Exercise” to prepare Boston should an attack or natural disaster ever take place at the Marathon. A document of his presentation can be Downloaded Here.
Or was there intelligence of a specific threat, leading authorities to sweep the area in the morning and place units eerily close to one of the perpetrators and blasts?
As of writing official “Suspect 1” Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was shot in the early hours following a police chase in which the men hijacked a vehicle and attacked police with guns and explosives. He later died of his injuries. “Suspect 2” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, age 19, is still at large, having managed to escape the scene.
The two brothers are thought to be Muslim Chechen immigrants from Russia.
Authorities released images and CCTV of the suspects yesterday afternoon, and claimed to have evidence of “Suspect 2” planting a device at the location of the second explosion, 100 yards down the street from the finishing line, outside the Forum Restaurant. This portion of footage has not been made available to the public and will likely be held off for a trial or inquiry setting.
“Suspect 2” is however seen leaving the area without his rucksack.
Keelan Balderson is the editor of WideShut.co.uk, and producer of documentaries 7/7 What Did They Know? and Perfect Storm: The England Riots. Keeping a critical eye on Government, Corporate Power, and the causes of Terrorism, he aims to broaden the Western world view.