yet sump must be said
Events are very fluid following the gruesome terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon, but speculation is already swirling
as to motive and responsible parties. There's only one plausible scenario* that
would carry significant geopolitical consequences: If Iran's
Revolutionary Guard or Hezbollah (or both) were behind it.
In response to the assassination of Iranian scientists, Iran has launched a wave of largely unsuccessful global terrorist attacks
against Little and Great While many plots were bungled, Iran (via
Hezbollah) did manage to kill Little Satan civilians in Bulgaria and
attempted to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the in Great Satan.
If Iran's hand is in this act of terror, it would galvanize
proponents of military action against Iran's nuclear program to push the
administration for immediate action. The administration would be
under enormous pressure to act in some overt manner to punish Tehran.
Yet unlike al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, there's no simple method of
punishing Iran militarily that doesn't open the door to a much broader
conflict. Retaliatory attacks aimed at the Revolutionary Guard or Iran's
nuclear facilities could invite Iranian counter-moves and runs the well-established risk of a direct military engagement with Iran. Standing pat, however, will be politically difficult (if not impossible).
So, of all the potential scenarios associated with the Boston
attacks, linkage to Iran carries the most significant geopolitical
Why not al-Qaeda?
The most likely global culprit is also the one least likely to spur
any fundamental change to American security strategy or foreign policy.
Three of al-Qaeda's main groupings -- in Pakistan, in the Arabian
Peninsula and in Africa (the "Islamic Maghreb") -- are already the focus
of intense counter-terrorism campaigns, drone strikes and covert
action. If any of these groups are linked to the Boston attack it may
lead to a stepped up campaign of drone strikes and covert action, but
it's unlikely to radically reorient the Obama administration's current
policy (it will, however, likely lead to a sharp debate over the drone
strikes and whether they're a cause of, or solution to, incidents such
*There are plenty of implausible scenarios which would have
far-reaching consequences as well: just pick your favorite rogue or
adversarial state and make them the culprit.
Pic - "Of course, it's terror"