For the city, today’s tragic explo­sions at the Boston Marathon finish line could not have occurred at a worse time or place. Owing to the rich his­tory and promi­nence of the annual race, there is no other time of the year when the city is more crowded with locals and vis­i­tors alike. Run­ners and spec­ta­tors from across the country and around the world con­verge on the city every year for the cel­e­brated Patriots Day race. And the explo­sions erupted at the race’s end when hun­dreds of run­ners were com­pleting their 26-​​mile feat to the cheers of well-​​wishers.

Whether the explo­sion was the work of an orga­nized ter­rorist group or the action of ama­teurs seeking to create chaos and con­fu­sion, this calamity dif­fers sig­nif­i­cantly from such crimes as the Okla­homa City bombing and the 9/​11 attack. Ear­lier ter­rorist strikes were per­pe­trated when least expected — a rou­tine day for all those caught by surprise.

Read the article at USA Today →