Letting terrorism win: Shutting down Boston was the wrong decision

Paralyzing the city to hunt down one person was a victory for Islamic extremism
Photo: Hiding

BOSTON, May 18, 2013 –Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wanted to create fear throughout the city of Boston. They wanted Boston communities to be afraid of going to work and afraid of going to school.

They wanted people to be afraid of congregating.

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Following the Boston bombings, Tamerlan was shot dead. Younger brother Dzhokhar is recovering from several gunshot wounds. Killing four people, injuring dozens, and creating a media frenzied panic during their weeklong rampage, these two brothers were successful far beyond the actual bombing. There were enormous costs that this country endured during the Tsarnaev’s terrorism spree.

The entire city of Boston and surrounding cities were shut down while law enforcement hunted for Dzhokhar. Businesses closed, people were ordered to stay inside, and fear gripped the entire state.

Was it the wrong decision to have life come to a halt to hunt down this killer?

Dzhokhar was dangerous and a threat to anyone and everyone. But so are criminal gang members throughout the country. If Dzhokhar had biological or chemical weapons, there would be a better argument for a citywide shutdown.

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Instead, looking for one man, the entire city was ordered shut down, which is exactly what the two terrorist brothers wanted. They created an atmosphere of fear. They made large numbers of people feel unsafe in their homes and on the streets.

When terrorists attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001, their goal was mass-murder. They also wanted Americans to be afraid of going to the movies and afraid of going to events where many people would be congregating.

After 9/11, Americans were told to continue doing normal, American things. If Americans stopped doing normal things like going to the movies, then terrorists would have won.

Shutting down Boston was akin to bowing to terrorist demands. The reason Americans don’t strike deals with terrorists is because it invites terrorists to commit more acts of violence like kidnappings and other attacks.

Terrorists throughout the world could not care less that the two brothers were ultimately stopped. They care more that their attacks caused a major city to come to a fear induced inertia.

Terrorists now know that setting off a few homemade bombs can shut down entire American cities. That law enforcement and government will take the extraordinary step of completely shutting down Boston, or any other city as well as surrounding communities, may actually invite more future attacks.

This is not to argue whether there should have been a massive manhunt for the younger brother who escaped the grip of law enforcement. There should have.

But shutting down Boston, Watertown, and other towns was not the right decision.

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Michael Shapira

Born and raised outside of Boston, MA, Mike Shapira is a graduate of Brandeis University where he majored in Politics and wrote for the student newspaper, “The Justice.”  Mike is a political centrist who admires leaders like Senators Joe Lieberman and Scott Brown.  Mike has a profound respect for the men and women who serve this country.  He believes that all servicemen and servicewomen deserve a warm and comfortable place to sleep at night.  

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