Public health historian Gerald Markowitz reminds us that the problem of lead poisoning is anything but new.
Twenty-four-year-old Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes bought an assault rifle, two automatics, a shotgun and 6,000 rounds of ammunition without ever showing up on the radar of law enforcement.
Yet 26-year-old Muslim-American Rezwan Ferdaus, who pleaded guilty in Boston last week to terrorism charges related to a plot to fly remote-controlled airplanes into federal buildings, was the focus of a year-long sting operation that provided him with material support that he otherwise likely would not have had to commit crimes. A comparison of the two cases raises troubling questions about FBI priorities and intelligence-gathering.
National security expert James Bamford told WBUR reporter David Boeri, “I think if Holmes had a Muslim name he would have come into a great deal of attention with a lot less purchases.” Boeri suggests that FBI could use the kind of intelligence-gathering process the Drug Enforcement Agency puts into practice in Massachusetts: staying in contact with community leaders who might be able to tip agents off to any unusual behavior.
Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson are hitting the road to cover the elections. Our Tumblr brings you behind the scenes.