The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Still No Confirmation of ‘Sleeper Cell’ Connection in Boston Marathon Bombing

Posted on | April 27, 2013 | 17 Comments

On April 21, Chris Bucktin and Andy Lines wrote a story at the British Mirror tabloid about the Boston bombing investigation:

Boston bombers: FBI hunting
12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked
to brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

The FBI was last night hunting a 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to the Boston marathon bomb brothers. . . .
A source close to the investigation said: “We have no doubt the brothers were not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.
“They were too advanced. Someone gave the brothers the skills and it is now our job to find out just who they were. Agents think the sleeper cell has up to a dozen members and has been waiting several years for their day to come.”

I immediately called into question the authenticity of that scoop: How was it that these two British tabloid writers were able to get a “source close to the investigation” to give them this shocking revelation as an exclusive, a scoop that none of the veteran U.S. reporters covering the story were able to match? And, if Bucktin and Lines had such excellent sources, why was the rest of that story composed of stuff that anyone could have compiled from other media sources, including a quote cribbed from the New York Times?

The Mirror‘s “exclusive” got banner headline treatment at the Drudge Report and zoomed to the top of the Memeorandum aggregation. Six days later, there still hasn’t been anything — not one legitimate news article — that has confirmed this “sleeper cell” angle that the Mirror claimed to have gotten from a “source close to the investigation.” In other words, this looks like a case of outright journalistic fraud in the manner of Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass.

Doesn’t anyone else care about this apparent fabrication?



17 Responses to “Still No Confirmation of ‘Sleeper Cell’ Connection in Boston Marathon Bombing”

  1. keyboard jockey
    April 27th, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    The authorities are now saying there might have been a third person involved in the bombing, because of the way the bombs were set off.

    I don’t know about 12 person sleeper cell. But the mother was on the CIA’s terrorist watch list since 2011, and she is now being described as a person of interest.

  2. robertstacymccain
    April 27th, 2013 @ 11:31 am

    The possibility that there might have been other accomplices — a possibility that I have never for a moment disputed — does not suffice as confirmation of the specific claim reported by the Mirror. As I made clear on April 21, I’m not arguing about whether or not the Tsarnaev brothers had help in their attack; rather, I am saying that this Mirror article reeks of bullshit, as if the writers just made up this quote from an unidentified source. And I am astonished that others don’t share my outrage about this.

  3. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 27th, 2013 @ 11:40 am

    If there is a way to sully conservatives, the Tea Party, and Republicans over this, I am sure the media will show some interest.

  4. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 27th, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    Oh wait, the media are busy making plans for the White House Correspondence Dinner. I hear they get twenty pound bags of swag.

  5. Charles
    April 27th, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

    Let’s count. T and D, their Mom and Dad, the 4 college friends including Terrorista #1 who helped D case Times Square, Ts wife and baby child, the aunt in Canada, and the mysterious Misha. That’s 12. Now perhaps some of those people are entirely innocent, the child for example.

  6. Laree Lee
    April 27th, 2013 @ 12:43 pm
  7. keyboard jockey
    April 27th, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

    This is worth the read Stacy, by no means a forensic account of the people of interest twitter history, and (behavior) but it sure is enlightening.

  8. Jetty
    April 27th, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

    “Doesn’t anyone else care about this apparent fabrication?”

    As compared to the fabrications the MSM throw at us every friggin’ day? Color me cynical.

  9. DaveO
    April 27th, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

    The Brits are the only source of news in the US of A. That, and Alex Jones of inforwars is on their speed-dial.

  10. Adjoran
    April 27th, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

    I don’t see why I am supposed to be surprised/shocked/upset that the newspaper formerly edited by Piers Morgan, which faked photos of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, hyped a stock on its financial pages after Morgan and the business columnists had acquired substantial positions in it, and which greeted the reelection of G.W. Bush with the headline “How can 59 million people be so DUMB?”, fabricates a story.

    Instead, the news value was if they actually GOT a scoop that was NOT made up.

  11. Adjoran
    April 27th, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

    Judging from the smell, I don’t think what the White House is feeding them is “swag”

  12. Adjoran
    April 27th, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    Glen Beck is now reporting that the other detained Saudi “student” at the scene is actually bin Laden’s son.

    Most of us depleted most of our supply of outrage in the first Obama term. Now it’s just, “Oh, well, what fresh hell is this now?”

  13. The Bagram Batman and Weekend Links!
    April 27th, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

    […] over at The Other McCain has up a bunch of great blog posts including this one: “Still No Confirmation of ‘Sleeper Cell’ Connection in Boston Marathon Bombing.” […]

  14. Dai Alanye
    April 27th, 2013 @ 7:36 pm
  15. narciso
    April 27th, 2013 @ 9:58 pm

    Where did he say this, I don’t see it in his updates.

  16. Good Stuff
    April 29th, 2013 @ 1:47 am

    reading a lot of “I think” stuff this morning – no good sources — an example

  17. keyboard jockey
    May 1st, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

    Looks like Jester was right. And he did make them famous 🙂