An article published on CNN’s website makes an unproven claim that pressure cooker bombs like the ones used at the Boston Marathon terror attack are a “signature” of “right-wing extremists.”
The article says (emphasis added) :
A senior U.S. counterterrorism investigator told CNN that pressure cooker bombs have also been a signature of extreme right-wing individuals in the United States who he said tend to revel in building homemade bombs.
This specific claim that “pressure cooker bombs have also been a signature of extreme right-wing individuals in the United States” appears to be completely unsubstantiated. Not a single example is given even in the CNN story itself of anyone other than al-Quadea using a pressure cooker bomb.
The article goes on to discuss the Olympic Park bombing by anti-abortion terrorist Erich Rudolph but those bombings were done with pipe bombs, not pressure cooker bombs. As the article says:
For example, the devices planted by Erich Rudolph at an Atlanta park during the 1996 Olympic Games were pipe bombs filled with gunpowder and nails to increase their lethality; it also had an alarm clock as a timing mechanism. Like the bombings in Boston, those devices were concealed in a backpack, according to a Department of Homeland Security report detailing the 1996 attack.
The claim in the previous paragraph was about pressure cooker bombs being a signature of right-wing extremists, not the use of pipe bombs or the more general use of a timer or a backpack.
As Breitbart News explained, instructions on how to make a pressure cooker bomb were provided in an issue of the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire. While it’s certainly possible that anyone of any political belief could have made such a device, there is no available data to indicate that any “right-wing” group in the United States or elsewhere has ever done so.
There are, however, numerous examples world of the pressure cooker bombs being used by al-Qaeda groups. Just a few examples:
In 2010, militants in Pakistan attacked the office of Christian aid organization World Vision and killed six workers there, all Muslim. After shooting workers, the terrorists exploded a locally made pressure cooker bomb.
Also in 2010, Faizal Shahzad attempted a bombing near Times Square by leaving explosives, including a pressure cooker bomb, in car a near Times Square.
In 2011, police seized two pressure cooker bombs from the hotel room of Naser Abdo, who planned to use them to bomb Fort Hood in Texas.
Nor is there is a single reference to any “right-wing” use–American or otherwise–of pressure cooker bombs in recently overview articles written on the subject by the Canadian Broadcasting Company, the Huffington Post, or is such use mentioned once in a Department of Homeland Security report on pressure cooker bombs.
Not one solitary mention of American right-wing use of these devices–a very far cry from the claim by CNN that they are a “signature” device. Once again, the media count on their busy and too-trusting readership not taking the tine to research claims they make.
The point of focusing on the pressure-cooker bomb use is to try to get a sense of who might responsible for the horror in Boston. While it’s certainly possible that anyone of any ideology could have used pressure-cooker method, for CNN to try to tie in the “right-wing” without any evidence and based on anonymous, unnamed sources without any independent factual attribution is shoddy, biased journalism intended to smear the vaguely defined “right-wing.”
This post has been updated to remove an erroneous citation.