A federal law enforcement official called today's fatal explosions in Boston a "terrorist attack" but said it wasn't clear whether the responsible party was foreign or domestic, CNN reports. Meanwhile speculation, dread, and political agendas are swirling around the Internet as the story unfolds. Slate notes the Patriot's Day connection, reporting that other major attacks occurred on or around the holiday, including the Columbine School shooting (1999), the Oklahoma City bombing (1995), and the Waco assault (1993). In fact, Waco inspired anti-government activists to hold their own darker version of Patriot's Day.
Radio host Alex Jones tweets that the attacks look like a "false flag" operation, meaning he thinks the government or some other powerful group perpetrated the attacks for political reasons, reports Mediaite. The Washington Post reports that in the Middle East and elsewhere, the message "Please Don't Be a Muslim" has been retweeted hundreds of times about the culprit; "The thought of every Muslim right now," added a Dubai-based journalist. The head of the Muslim Writer’s Guild of America tweeted, "Whoever the culprit, no religion justifies this act of violence. We must remain united against extremism." (Read more Boston Marathon bombing stories.)