Strategic Responses to the Boston Marathon Bombing

Laura Dugan and Daren Fisher

Published online August 2015 | | DOI:

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The explosions on April 15, 2013 during the Patriot’s Day Marathon in Boston mark the first major terrorist attack in the United States since 9/11 and the first time since 1996 that terrorists targeted a major US sporting event. This chapter reviews events before and after the bombing to explore strategies to reduce risk and harm at sporting events without compromising the ideals of freedom and human capacity inherent to all sports. The chapter first presents the background of the Tsarnaev brothers and the challenges they faced. It then describes what is known of their plans for the day of the Marathon and the pursuit by law enforcement after the attack. It details the tactical and technological advances that helped law enforcement successfully end the crisis and arrest the surviving perpetrator. Finally, it discusses prevention and harm reduction measures that have since been adopted in major sporting events.

Keywords: Boston Marathon Bombing; terrorism; emergency response; risk reduction; emergency coordination

Article.  10297 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Violent Crime

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