- By J. Dana StusterJ. Dana Stuster is an assistant editor at Foreign Policy. He has studied at the American University of Beirut and graduated in 2010 with degrees in English and International Relations from the University of California, Davis. Before coming to FP, his work appeared in the Atlantic and the National Interest, among other publications.
It literally took only minutes for the conspiracy theories to start after news broke about the twin explosions in Boston. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has yet to find a tragedy he couldn’t exploit, wasted no time:
— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) April 15, 2013
Jones’s faux-news site, Info Wars, has already posted a story about how the blasts coincided with an FBI training exercise — one that actually includes this paragraph:
Keep in mind I am in no way blaming the FBI for this. Most men and women who work with the FBI are upstanding citizens who would be appalled at such acts. But it is theoretically possible that one of the FBI’s many "terror plots" went too far and turned into a live bomb instead of a dud followed by an arrest for "domestic terrorism."…
Be wary of who ultimately gets blamed for this, especially if it’s a veteran or patriot.
The fevered ravings on Twitter are diverse: The bombs were planted by the U.S. government, or by Mossad agents, or by conspiracy theory bogeyman the Illuminati! To drive up the price of gold and silver! To justify new gun control laws! Or war in Syria! Or Iran! Or North Korea! Or, based on the timing (today being Tax Day and Massachusetts’s "Patriots’s Day," commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord in the Revolutionary War), to crack down on right-wing and libertarian groups!
There’s very little known about the explosions so far, and it may be days before they can be positively attributed to a person or organization. But this is an early indication of the type of controversy that will persist long after the truth has come out.