The Boston Marathon Bombing occurred on the of 15rd April 2013 near the finish line of the marathon. The bombs exploded about two minutes apart at a separated distance of 194 yards. The pressure cooker bombs killed three people and left an estimated 264 injured (Biddinger 2013). The Bombings were later to be followed by shootings at a different location by one of the perpetrators. The Federal Bureau of Investigation together with the local police launched an investigation on 18th April for two terror suspects associated with the bombing. They released two surveillance photographs of two of the masterminds behind the Boston Bombing. The two Chechen brothers were identified as Dzhokar Tsamaev and Tamerlan Tsamaev.
After the FBI had released photos of the criminal masterminds, the two brothers were reported to have killed a police officer, carjacked an SUV and exchanged fire with the police in Watertown Massachusetts. During the gun exchange, another police officer was injured. Tamerlan Tsamaev was shot severally by the police, but his brother later ran him over by the SUV killing him on the spot. Tamerlan was pronounced dead at the scene while the brother escaped.
A new search for Dzhokar ensued in Watertown Massachusetts. Residents were urged to stay indoors for the entire process leaving the place deserted and easily searchable. In addition to this the public transport system and the business premises were all closed down for the entire period. Later on during the day, a resident alleged that Dzhokar had been seen in a boat in Watertown; he was identified by thermal imaging, shot and later taken to the hospital. Dzhokar was later charged with thirty aspects relating to homegrown terror and using of weapons of mass destruction. He was sentenced to death in the coming months. The major point of focus is the use of technologies in identifying the perpetrators of the terror threat.
Four types of technologies were used to identify the suspects involved in the terror act. The extensive camera surveillance system referred to as the C.C.T.V camera took photos of all the major events that were happening in Boston before and after the explosion of the Bomb. The C.C.T.V uses cameras along streets and shopping malls to identify real-time events. Some of the cameras are privately owned while others are state-owned.
The police used the C.C.T.V cameras from the city to be able to identify the terror suspects. The video provided by the camera provided too many results, most being irrelevant information. After a day, the police department managed to identify a man in a baseball cap who had left something behind. By looking at the camera, the police could not directly provide the identity of the man. C.C.T.V cameras provide real time video evidence of activities. The only problem is its low resolution. It can be used to identify but not capture a suspect.
Facial recognition software was used to identify and capture the details of the suspect. Facial recognition software uses three-dimensional facial images to create the face of the suspect. Facial recognition software identifies the face of an individual in similar ways that DNA is used to identify an individual. In this case, it uses mathematical algorithms that convert an image into a real picture that can be used o identify a person.
Facial recognition software identified the two suspects. The police used the photo that they had captured from the surveillance C.C.T.V camera to identify the two suspects. The facial recognition software is a confirmatory test. Earlier the F.B.I had no information regarding the suspects but after using the facial recognition software they were able to identify the culprits.
The third technology used is the phone digital fingerprint system that assists in locating any individual. When a phone is rung to the control towers, the servers pick up the call and identifies the location where the events are taking place.
The fingerprint phone system was used to identify the exact location where the shootings were taking place after the Watertown police requested for back –up. It proved essential to the identification of both the witnesses.
Lastly, thermal imaging was used by police to locate the last suspects hiding in the boat. Warmer things release more heat while cooler things release less warmth. The thermal imaging system can capture even the subtle changes in temperature. For example, it can capture the difference in temperature between a human body and a cigarette.
Thermal imaging was used to capture the last suspect. A phone call had been picked up by the fingerprint phone system that revealed the location of the suspect. Additionally, the suspect had attempted to exchange fire with the police officer. The helicopter carrying the thermal system used infrared rays to locate directly the suspect.
String Ray Technologies have come up with new and secret technologies that easily locates and pinpoints the location of an individual. The technology uses an entire areas phone data to pinpoint the exact location of an individual
Another alternative technology used is a grid map that contains high technology that can be used to locate terrorists. The map has tiny embedded flashlights that turn red immediately any phone belonging to a terror suspect is considered to be in use. It can be used to provide for the correct location of a terror suspect.Conclusion
The use of technology has eased the identification and capture of terrorist and other criminals. Various types of technologies need to be integrated to give quality results. Reliance on one technology might provide the wrong information about a particular event.
Biddinger, P. D., Baggish, A., Harrington, L., d’Hemecourt, P., Hooley, J., Jones, J., & Dyer, K. S. (2013). Be prepared—the Boston Marathon and mass-casualty events. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(21), 1958-1960.