In 2008, when terrorists attacked the hotels in Mumbai, technology was working for them and against the authorities. Those cretins had accomplices on the outside who used cell phones, video cameras and other tech to tell the bad guys, who were inside the hotel, where the cops were and what they were doing on the outside. This ‘real time intel’ allowed the killers more time to kill innocent people and thwart the efforts of authorities to mount a counter-attack. The terrorists could preemptively strike at places the observers on the outside told them the police were amassing. They could move away from places in the hotel where police were entering.
Last week in Boston, technology came over to our side. Citizens became the observers; crowd sourcing became the new law enforcement tool. Smart phones became the anti-terror weapon. The net effect was the people of Boston became Digital Deputies.
From a psychological perspective, no act of terror can now be contemplated without this new phalanx of smart eyes and smart ears, in the hands of the digitally deputized public, entering into the terrorist’s calculus. I hope that’s enough to tell these would-be murderers to go somewhere else, or better yet, forget doing anything at all.
We cherish our freedoms; our nation and the American culture founded around them and we have prospered by holding them above all else as sacrosanct. Running a marathon, attending a sporting event, or celebrating a holiday by parade or public gathering are basic expressions of those freedoms. Sadly, these events are also a magnet to those who would choose to make a political statement by committing violence. This time, as President Obama said, “they picked the wrong city.” The resilience and spirit of ‘Boston Strong’ proves that the terrorists not only picked the wrong city but the wrong country as well.
If you can, you can support the victims of the bombing, I found and donated to, The One Boston Fund, which helps the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013.