Former GOP Rep. Pete Hoekstra: Al-Qaeda May Have Played a Role in Boston Marathon Explosions

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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No one has taken responsibility for the two explosions that occured Monday at the final stretch of the Boston Marathon, but former Congressman Pete Hoekstra believes the bombing “has the feel” of a foreign terrorist attack.

The former GOP representative of Michigan’s 2nd District spoke with Newsmax just hours after the explosions that injured 152 people and left 17 in critical condition. “The gut feeling is your heart just goes out to all the folks in Boston — and here we go again as a country with a very, very tragic event.”

Authorities are still waiting for a person or group to claim responsibility for the attacks.

“It’s way too early to identify the circumstances behind this and who the people responsible might be,” said Hoekstra, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Hoekstra says the investigation into the explosive materials recovered in Boston has begun, but that identifying those responsible would be a difficult process.

“We’ll have experts going over the bomb-making material very quickly and again, you’ll be able to determine the sophistication of that explosive device and begin estimating the kind of background and knowledge that was going to be necessary to pull off the kind of explosives and the coordination that you saw today,” he said.

He said that authorities will be able to rule out individuals or groups rather easily. “Once groups or individuals take credit you can fairly quickly determine whether that claim of responsibility has any merit to it or not,” he said.

He added that officials have feared another attack on U.S. soil for some time, and speculated on a list of foreign terrorist groups that could have played a role.

“I think the short list would be probably al-Qaida out of the Maghreb region [of Northwest Africa] or it would be al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula out of Yemen, where al Awlaki came from and gave us the Detroit [underwear] bomber,” he said.

“We’ve always said — and we’ve known, we’ve stopped countless of these attacks and planned attacks in the United States — and we’ve always said ‘some day someone might be able to get through and be successful,’” he noted.

Sources: Inquistr, Newsmax, CNN