On Thursday, just hours after the FBI released blurry pictures of the two suspected Boston Marathon bombers, CNN anchor Erin Burnett assumed the suspects were “stereotypically” white Americans and not linked to any foreign terror group.
It turned out that the suspects–Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev–are technically “white” as they are ethnically Chechen (although Dzhokhar recently became a citizen). But what Burnett, like many in the mainstream media who instinctively assume such acts are committed by those who look like Timothy McVeigh, was implying was that the suspects in the photos were white Americans who were born in this country.
“They are young. They’re white. They’re very confident. They kind of look like college kids,” Burnett said on the Thursday evening edition of her low-rated primetime show, “Outfront.”
Later in the show, when Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) mentioned that he knew the, “Justice Department has requested the assistance of foreign countries in terms of foreign travel” about the suspects, Burnett seemed shocked.
“On foreign travel?” she incredulously asked.
McCaul said there, “may be some sort of foreign connection here.”
“Wait,” Burnett interrupted. “Let me make sure I understand. Sorry, I want to make you understand. So they’re still looking into the possibility that even though these two kids look very, very stereotypically like they’re from here that this may be linked to a foreign terror group?”
McCaul then reiterated that it was “unclear and the nationalities are very unclear from the images that you see.”
“This particular device is very common in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I will say that the al Qaeda playbook is usually to hit sporting events. You read this all the time, sporting events, mass casualties,” McCaul said.
Based on some of the initial evidence, it seems as if Tamerlan, the older brother, may well have been radicalized by Islamic radicals that may be linked to Al-Qaeda.