After days of speculation and calls for officials to provide an explanation, it has emerged that the unidentified military style group pictured at the scene of the Boston bombing both before and after the explosions could be National Guard Civil Support Teams (CSTs) that were pre-scheduled to be at the event.
CSTs are The National Guard’s full-time response force for emergencies or terrorist events involving weapons of mass destruction, toxic chemicals, or natural disasters. CSTs are routinely pre-staged at large public events to help mitigate risks and assist civilian authorities.
A report published on silive on Saturday, notes that Defense Secretary Hagel has decided to rescind a decision to defund 24th National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (WMD-CST). The team is described as “The only U.S. military team assigned to New York City to support first responders in case of a disaster.”
Within the report it is stated that “Members of the New York unit were less than a block away from the deadly April 15 explosions at the Boston Marathon. They were part of a survey squad deployed at the request of their counterpart unit in Massachusetts.”
The report notes that “Each U.S. state and territory has at least one of the specially trained National Guard response teams,” and that “WMD-CSTs are trained to provide rapid military support to civil authorities in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear threat.”
This would explain why one of the military men was pictured holding a radiation monitoring device in the immediate aftermath of the bombing.
In a separate April 16 report by Global Security Newswire, it is noted that members of the New York CST team were dispatched to Boston on the Friday before the event, and were scheduled to be in place at the Marathon on the Monday:
The roughly 20-person New York unit — based at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn — dispatched five personnel to Boston after receiving a request last Friday from the Massachusetts state government, said Eric Durr, public information director for the New York state Military and Naval Affairs Division.
“Anytime you’ve got a high-key event where there’s lots of people, there’s usually a … unit from a civil support team in the area to provide assistance to first responders,” Durr told Global Security Newswire by telephone. He declined to discuss specifics of how the 24th personnel provided assistance following the Monday attack.
In a report published April 16, one day after the Boston bombing, the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs featured the activities and exercises of their own state CST team. Within the report, Wisconsin CST commander Lt. Col. David W. May states “There are two CSTs that are engaged out there (in Boston) in the response… In fact, one of the first images that I saw was the Massachusetts CST was actually right there.”
Is May referring to the images of the military types that were pictured all over the scene? It seems highly likely.
A picture published by The London Guardian that was not widely circulated shows more of the military type men at the scene after the bombs went off. Although these men are dressed in similar garb, they are more clearly identified as CST support members.
Pictures of CST members from 2011 and 2012 wearing khaki and black uniforms can be found widely on the internet:
As to why one of the military types at the scene appeared to be wearing a Navy Seal or Craft International logo on his hat, it has been suggested that it is fairly routine for police and military to receive training from Craft, as well as other private military contractor groups, and from former Navy Seals. It is also possible that this person was an ex Seal or just purchased a Craft baseball cap, which are available to buy online.
It is, of course, also possible that he was indeed working for Craft International, in which case his presence remains a mystery. Either way, the FBI needs to address this picture.
In another report by Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy of The National Guard Bureau, it is noted that CST teams have been providing support in both Massachusetts following the bombings, and in Texas, following the explosion at a fertilizer plant.
“The Massachusetts team was on duty during the April 15 running of the Boston Marathon, augmented by similar Guard teams from New York and Rhode Island.” the report states, corroborating the same information in the other reports mentioned above.
The report also states that “In Boston, more than 850 National Guard members were on duty to assist local authorities with logistics, security and other operations. In addition to the civil support team members, the team also included members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s 387th Ordnance Company and the 267th Combat Communications Squadron from the Massachusetts Air National Guard.”
Another report posted April 17th on Examiner.com noted that “The Massachusetts Civil Support Team is providing assistance to Boston and Massachusetts civil authorities. In addition, personnel from the New York, New Hampshire and Rhode Island civil support teams are providing additional support.”
The reported also stated that more than 400 Massachusetts National Guardsmen had been on duty to help law enforcement agencies keep the marathon’s route clear and had remained on duty in the aftermath to continue to assist local authorities.
The vehicles that were witnessed at the bombing scene also appear very similar to those used by other Army National Guard CSTs:
This image on dvidshub shows almost identical vehicles belonging to the New York CST team as the ones that were witnessed in Boston:
The vehicle in this photo, along with a black and khaki CST member, also appears very similar:
Similar CST vehicles can also be seen in these photos.
Similar vehicles can also be seen in this CST video.
Of course, this information does not conclusively prove that all of the military type individuals pictured at the scene were part of a National Guard CST team. Yet it does, at last, provide one possible logical explanation for their presence. The fact that the individuals were also pictured conversing with FBI personnel and police at the scene also suggests that their presence was not covert, and was pre-planned.
Of course, the FBI could have simply cleared this up by issuing a statement identifying the military types as members of CST teams. Instead, however, they chose to ignore the pictures altogether and order members of the public not to even acknowledge the existence of the pictures – causing much confusion, speculation and mistrust among those who were following the events closely.
In addition, this information does not mean that the authorities did not have prior knowledge of the bombing. If anything, the massive security presence bolsters the notion that they very much could have had prior knowledge, particularly in conjunction with the fact that the suspects were already well known to the FBI, and with the ever developing shady Saudi connections.
This information also does not alter the fact that the FBI and US intelligence have long been intimately involved in staged and provocateured terrorist attacks.