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Letters: Emotions flare over Boston threat

Flowers are left at a security gate near

Flowers are left at a security gate near the scene of yesterday's bombing attack at the Boston Marathon. (April 16, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

As the brother of William F. Burke Jr., captain of Fire Department of New York Engine 21, who was killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, I view the recent events in Boston as a powerful reminder: We must never forget that there continue to be terrorists among us whose sole desire is to kill as many American citizens as they can ["Boston bombs likely used toy remote controls," News, April 25].

We also are reminded of the incredible heroes all around us who, at a moment's notice, are willing to sacrifice their lives for the protection of all of us. I am eternally grateful for the men and women in law enforcement, rescue workers, and heroic civilians who worked so diligently and put their own lives at risk to bring this matter to a conclusion.

Jim Burke, Port Jefferson

I wonder what former members of the Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground are feeling watching all of this transpire in Boston? There were many acts of terrorism involving bombs of one sort or another claimed by the Weather Underground organization between 1970 and 1981. Former members of the group robbed a Brinks armored car, resulting in the deaths of three people, including a police officer. How times have not changed.

Is it time we reflected back on the days when government buildings were targeted for bombing, along with banks and police departments, by radical left-wing organizations? It seemed to me that in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, the media wanted to focus on homegrown right-wing radicals.

I wonder if any of the left-leaning talk show hosts would ever consider interviewing people like former Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers or Bernadine Dohrn? Ask them what they think about the Boston Marathon bombings, and if there are any similarities in motivation.

Bill Saunders, Holbrook

The column "Boston focus is on Islamic extremism" [Opinion, April 23] lists some possible explanations for Islamic terrorists carrying out violent acts against America. These include "religious zealotry," "ideology that glorifies violence" and "radical Islamism with its global terror network."

However, the column fails to address another contributing factor in Islamic radicalization: U.S. foreign policy. Invasions of two Muslim countries, drone attacks that create more terrorists than we kill, and support for despotic regimes in the Middle East all continue to make us a target.

Jack Pepitone, West Hempstead

Walt Handelsman's cartoon "Our endless marathon" [Opinion, April 16] depicts a vigilant Uncle Sam earnestly chasing terror or acts of terror. This leads us to believe that the United States condones doing whatever is in its power to eliminate these senseless terror attacks on civilians, including those that Israel faces daily.

Actions speak louder than words. Let's hope that the U.S. government doesn't look away when Palestinian terrorism explodes and snuffs out the lives of innocent Israeli citizens, but instead is as vigilant as Uncle Sam in "chasing" the terrorists away.

Miriam Baum Benkoe, Oceanside