Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, was interviewed on Fox News today about the Boston Marathon bombings; Risch said he was in “a number of classified briefings today,” but instead of receiving classified information, the briefings were mostly “what we call open source,” meaning information he could share. His main point: When terrorist groups carry out attacks, they usually quickly claim credit; while when a “lone wolf” or “some deranged American person” is responsible, they typically don’t. No one has claimed responsibility for the Boston bombings. Risch told Fox’s Neil Cavuto the case appears reminiscent of the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta, which was the first of four bombings carried out by Eric Rudolph, who was apprehended in 2003; the Atlanta bombing killed two people and injured 111.
Cavuto asked Risch whether the use of pressure cookers in the devices detonated in Boston suggested a foreign origin, since those are commonly used in IEDs in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Risch said no. “The pressure cooker device is commonly used in Afghanistan and Pakistan and India, but that’s because it is a cooking utensil that’s readily available in those countries,” he said. However, it’s also featured in numerous online bomb-making tutorials and the like. “I don’t think you can say that just because it was a pressure cooker,” it’s related to those countries, Risch said. “It’s just too common on the Internet.”