We have much to learn from the Boston bombing.
Now that suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is under arrest and charged with one count of using a weapon of mass destruction and one count of malicious destruction of property resulting in death—which could bring him the death penalty—political and security chiefs need to examine how this tragic crime happened and what could have been done differently to prevent it.
One of the first steps should be working closely with our ally Israel. The Jewish state has gone down this path many times before and since the Second Intifada has managed to reduce terrorist attacks. In 2002, at the height of the Second Intifada, 53 terrorist attacks were perpetrated in Israel, according to a report by the General Security Service. In 2009-2010, there were zero. It is clear that the feat in stopping the suicide attacks was success in dealing with capability rather than the motivation to attack Israel on the part of the suicide bombers and their dispatchers.
Many have questioned the wisdom of putting the entire city of Boston on lockdown. While the period that Bostonians were asked to stay indoors was relatively brief, it did raise legitimate questions about whether a city (or a society) should completely deny itself freedom of movement when a criminal is on the loose. What is the balance between liberty and security?
Law enforcement should be commended for zeroing in on the bombing suspects so quickly, but we think it could have been done better. We hope that officials will not chalk this up as an isolated incident and move on, but reach out to those who can help them prevent this from happening again.