UA criminologist weighs in on Boston bomber - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

UA criminologist weighs in on Boston bomber

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One attacker, that's what a professor at the University of Alabama believes about the Boston bombings.

Dr. Adam Lankford is a criminal justice professor. He specializes in terrorism and homeland security.

A pre-meditated, politically motivated act that is intended to intimidate or coerce. That's what Lankford considers terrorism.

The professor said the bombings in Boston were an act of terror and he believes one person is to blame. "If they had a lot of terrorist in this cell or even four or five you would expect more bombs to have been planted than just two."

But was this a foreign or domestic attack? Lankford said, "The idea that a right wing extremist would feel like he's actually being a patriot by attacking in the place of the Boston tea party on tax day seems credible. On the other hand it's possible the reason an Islamic terrorist would attack that area is just because it's easier to get in, drop your bombs off, and get away then attacking the Super Bowl or the Masters golf tournament or something like that."

Lankford said the goal of a terrorist is not to purely kill people, but rather gain international attention for the crime. "This is terrorism again trying to send a message and right now that message ironically enough isn't getting through."

The criminologist added he doesn't anticipate another similar act in the immediate future. "My sense is that it would be unlikely for that person to go out and engage in another risky attack because this is someone who's trying to get away with it. This is not a suicide attacker."

Lankford believes the attacker is likely scared and overwhelmed with the sense of accomplishment and is most likely to slip up and make mistakes now.

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