FBI crime scene investigators

Two days after twin bombs ripped through crowds at the Boston Marathon, media outlets were reporting that police had identified a possible suspect thanks to nearby cameras and facial recognition software. What goes into tracking down a bomber? With the remnants of a pressure cooker and hundreds of videos to go by, what will investigators be looking for?

The Forensics of Finding a Bomber 18 April,2013forum

Richard Esposito, co-author of "Bomb Squad: A Year Inside the Nation's Most Exclusive Police Unit" and senior executive producer of the investigative unit at NBC News
Rick Hahn, retired FBI agent and explosives expert
Anil Jain, professor of computer science and engineering at Michigan State University who has worked on a number of government-funded projects dealing with facial recognition and fingerprinting

  • Yuri

    What an extraordinarily one-sided set of guests. Each of these people has a vested interest in presuming that government agents did not perpetrate the Boston attacks (or any other attacks for that matter). As anyone who is willing to ignore the media spin for a moment and look at this evidence himself will tell you, photos from the Boston scene before and after the explosions show it was likely perpetrated by five or six black-clad men who showed up carrying large black backpacks, at least two of them having clearly deposited their backpacks between before-and-after photos. It may be that these men were taking part in the bombing “drill” that runners were made aware of in the morning via the PA system, and perhaps they unwittingly deposited real bombs instead of duds. And yet, given that we know bomb-sniffing dogs were deployed throughout the day, you have to wonder how the bombers evaded detection without the help of authorities.

  • Erich

    It sounds to me like the purpose of the Boston attack, if it was perpetrated by government and/or corporate agents, is to provide a justification for Orwellian facial recognition everywhere like the infamous TrapWire program that is already in place in San Francisco, or the planned surveillance using cameras in street light, which was revealed in SF by the Bay Guardian, or the creepy cameras in bars called SceneTap, which are already in place in numerous SF bars.

    There is clearly a ton of money to be made by turning the USA into a police state and maintaining that oppression, so much in fact that I could almost imagine politically connected corporations justifying killing innocent people in Boston in order to reap billion-dollar security contracts.


    • AgelessReason

      YACT (yet another conspiracy theory)

      • Erich

        You only demonstrate your lack of intelligence when you belittle those of us who can think for ourselves.

  • TheBarberRef

    FWIW, I’m left-handed, but twisting wires is more comfortable using my right-hand :^|

  • AgelessReason

    Security should have been better.

    Surveillance cameras. Police checking the areas that are the most likely targets. Pat downs based on psychological and forensic profiles.

    Instead, Boston had an entirely passive police presence, who only acted after the tragedy. Do we distrust government to such an extent that we choose to live with such vulnerability?

    A passive police force is welcomed by those who advocate concealed and open carry (like the NRA) as well as supporting “stand your ground” laws.

    • Erich

      You appear to want us to be living in a police state like Názi Germany.

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