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2013年4月19日 (金)

ボストン・テロ 市街地イベント警備の点検を

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 19, 2013
Thorough checks needed for major events in urban areas
ボストン・テロ 市街地イベント警備の点検を(4月18日付・読売社説)

The recent bombing at the Boston Marathon in the United States was an act of indiscriminate terrorism that targeted a traditional event familiar even to Japanese people. We can never forgive this despicable, atrocious crime that killed and injured many people.

Two bombs exploded successively on a road along the route near the finish line as runners streamed past about four hours after the start of the race. At least three people, including an 8-year-old boy, were killed, while more than 170 others were injured in the horrible incident, some of them seriously.

About 23,000 people, including more than 200 Japanese runners, participated in the race, with relatives, friends, Boston residents and many others cheering the participants on.

U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the attack, saying, "Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terrorism." Obama expressed his determination to make every effort to arrest those responsible and determine the details of the crime.

It was the first terrorist bombing in the United States since the simultaneous terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States placed top priority on reinforcing antiterrorism measures and prevented many incidents from actually taking place. It discovered the hideout of the mastermind of 9/11 and killed him.

These achievements make the impact of the latest twin bombing particularly strong in the United States. The incident has made the U.S. government and its people keenly aware that terrorism still exists as a real threat in everyday life.

It is still unknown whether the bombing was committed by a terrorist organization or a single culprit. We hope U.S. authorities will conduct a thorough investigation based on material evidence and information.

Bombs simple yet deadly

The Federal Bureau of Investigation suspects the bombs were made from pressure cookers packed with explosives and other materials. The FBI now strongly believes they were placed in a black nylon bag or backpack.

Similar bombs are often used in terror attacks in countries such as Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. They are easily made but highly lethal as nails and other metal objects are mixed with explosives.

It has been reported that the security arrangements for the Boston Marathon were thorough. However, it is difficult to employ baggage inspections and metal detectors over a wide scale to achieve complete security control in outdoor events in urban areas. The culprit focused on this vulnerability in the security arrangements.

Japan must be prepared

This terrorist attack is not an event of the other side of the ocean for Japan, as large marathons for ordinary people have already become common here. The Tokyo Marathon in February was a huge sporting event that drew about 37,000 runners. About 1.7 million people watched and cheered them along the route.

Japan also needs to implement measures against terrorist attacks to guard marathons and other major events.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the government will do its best to ensure safety. "Police are now doing everything they can to ensure security and safety at important facilities and places where many people gather," Abe said.

Even if security checks become stricter, citizens' cooperation with antiterrorism efforts is indispensable.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 18, 2013)
(2013年4月18日02時04分  読売新聞)


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