April 24th, 2013
02:37 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden says 'knock-off jihadis' can't break American spirit

(CNN) – The brothers accused of planting bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and later murdering a police officer in Cambridge, are "twisted, perverted, cowardly knock-off jihadis" who failed to instill fear in the American people, Vice President Joe Biden said at a memorial service for the slain officer Wednesday.

"It infuriates them that we refuse to bend, refuse to change, refuse to yield to fear," Biden said at the afternoon event honoring of Sean Collier. "The doctrine of hate and oppression, they've found out cannot compete with the values of openness and inclusiveness. And that's why they're losing around the world."

The service for Collier, a campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came more than a week after the two blasts killed three people and wounded hundreds. The accused perpetrators shot Collier to death in his cruiser Thursday night as he was responding to a loud disturbance call, setting off a series of events that left one of the suspected bombers dead and the other the subject of a day-long manhunt.

MORE: Officials weight in, then retreat, on Boston bombing attacks

Collier was remembered by friends and colleagues as an integral member of MIT's community, whose dedication to his job cost him his life. The university's alumni association made him an honorary member Wednesday.

"People have asked me if Sean were here, what would he think," his brother, Rob Rogers, said at the service. "Are you kidding me? He would have loved this. Sirens, flashing lights, formations, people saluting, bagpipes, Taps, the American flag – he would have loved it. He was born to be a police officer, and he lived out his dreams."

MORE: Slain MIT cop: 'He was born to be a police officer'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, said Collier's "life was infused with this spirit of service – that protection, that strength, could come only from giving himself fully."

And Biden called the slain officer a "remarkable son and brother."

"No child should predecease their parents," Biden said, acknowledging that while "every loss is different," he could speak with experience on the particular pain of losing a child. His daughter and first wife were killed in a car accident in 1972.

MORE: Biden vows justice for Boston attack

"The moment will come when that thing that triggers the memory of Sean, that moment, whether it's a song or a season or a holiday or passing a little league field, whatever it is, you'll know it's going to be okay when the first instinct is you get a smile to your lips before you get a tear to your eye," Biden said. "It's impossible to fathom that that will occur, but I promise you, I guarantee you, it will."

The vice president also offered counsel to the larger campus community, still reeling from the blasts, shooting, and manhunt that swept their neighborhood last week.

"Just look around this field at the student body here," Biden said. "Just listen to the accents of the president and vice president. This is a diverse campus. Probably the greatest technological university in the world. It's black, it's white, it's Muslim, it's Christian, it's Jewish, it's Hindu."

"You make no distinction between the competence of male and female. You are their worst nightmare. All the things these perverted jihadis, self-made or organized, all the things they fear," he continued.

MORE: Friend 'brainwashed' bombing suspect, uncle says

Later in the day, Biden's wife Jill, dressed in black, visited a memorial site on Boylston Street, near the blast site in Boston. She hung a pair of black running shoes, signed "Boston Strong. Love, Jill Biden," on a police fence covered with other running shoes, flowers and big posters memorializing the victims of last Monday's attack.

CNN's Rose Arce contributed to this report.


Filed under: Boston Marathon bombing • Joe Biden
soundoff (293 Responses)
  1. Joe

    So knock-off jihadists are cowards and evil....what about legit jihadists? Are they really any better? Come on Biden, it's time for a new speech writer.

    April 24, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. AnnonUSA

    Biden is a nut job. WHY do they do it? They do it because they change our way of life.

    They ruin our economy because OUR own government spreads fear in the name of terrorists, they waste money on agencies and TSA that have not once stopped a plot against an airplane.
    They LOCKED down an entire city for the sake of ONE 19 year old. Estimates run to $330 Million dollars wasted by the Boston lock down.

    Newtown Residents today voted down a school and municipal budget today that would have added (1) ONE million dollars to the budgets for armed police presence in their schools. They SAID NO!
    How many schools could be made Safer with $330 Million dollars?

    Go Home Joe Biden, You are Dumb!

    April 24, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  3. Chuck Diesel

    The FBI is at fault for this officers death. How many extremists on FBI lists are in Boston, so many that every single one could not be tracked down within 48 hours of this bombing. They need the public to identify these cowards otherwise they would still be on the loose, why was the video not shown immediately? This officer lost his life because we didn't want to pursue likely extremists that of all countries, Russia had told us to watch out for these cowards. Yeah Go Joe, how illogical are some of you who write on these posts?

    April 24, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. TheZel

    9/11/2001 changed us.. we fear now... it's the world that should fear us.

    April 24, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. Randy

    This is why we can't have nice things

    April 24, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Dick Smegma

    Lost in space without a helmet.
    Pathetic hollow suit.

    April 24, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. jody

    I've had about all the fear I can hold down since Bush, thanks. Joe, please hush... Youll have to make this speech about two brothers with blue eyes and blonde hair if you try derationalization of those opposed to the wars.

    April 24, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. Frustratedbeyondbelief

    We can continue to mock, jab, poke and blame our leadership, congress, federal agencies, or anyone we disagree with. But the truth of the matter is, we as a people need to realize that we hold the power to make change. If we want immigration reform or any other change, than we must insist our legislative branch heed our call. We pick the man in the White House by the majority. If we don't like who it is than it is up to us to educate the people on making the right choice. In response to Sean Collier,this officer is the example of our freedom. Having been a police officer myself, I know the pride he took in his job knowing what the risk was or could be. It takes a special person such as Sean Collier to want that job and give all he has to the protection of the people. There are many more out there under that same banner. When are we as a nation going to stand up and take control instead of pointing fingers?

    April 24, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. Redeye Dog

    Biden wins first place again in the daily news cycle again for the "stupidest thing to say on television!!"

    April 24, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  10. jaketinback

    Maybe Biden called them knock off Jihadists but his fearless leader as of yet refuses to use the words jihadist or islamist in reference to the Boston Bombings. tHe goes out of his way to avoid saying that there is any connection between radical islam and terrorism. Cowardly.

    April 24, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. Harry

    "Those dastardly knock-offs. I send my boy down to get some real Cubans and he comes back with fakes."

    April 24, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. jaketinback

    Maybe Biden called them knock off Jihadists but his fearless leader as of yet refuses to use the words jihadist or islamist in reference to the Boston Bombings. tHe goes out of his way to avoid saying that there is any connection between radical islam and terrorism.

    April 24, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  13. Me

    "The accused Boston bombers failed to instill fear in the American people, Vice President Joe Biden said"

    But the U.S. Government and mass media sure did a good job at it.

    April 24, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. Kathryn

    This country seems have PAID this terrorist welfare money and supported his efforts to kill Americans.. Perhaps Joe Biden needs to go back to Washington and ask why America pays for terrorist to live in this country!! The feds clearly dropped the ball on this guy, but i am sure the press will never investigate why a terrorist and his family collected benefits and money while he palnned to kill Americans!! You go Obama,,,the press is in your pocket!

    April 24, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  15. Harry

    Slow Joe; yeah, he's a great VP. Even knows how to spell 'potato'.

    April 24, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  16. gesoflip

    Joe is an embarrassment.

    April 24, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  17. Harry

    The best VP we have ever had. That was a real 'profiles in courage' kind of speech.

    April 24, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. Bryan

    Joe is the ultimate liberal hack.

    April 24, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Kathryn

    You go Obama administration and media!! This terrorist who killed Americans collected welfare that hard working Americans paid! Glad to know i support terrorist and murders!

    April 24, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  20. Joe

    I think Biden fell out of the Stupid Tree and hit every branch on the way down!

    April 24, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  21. BO

    Can't we keep Joe quiet? He is so embarrassing.

    April 24, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  22. The Rogue

    Once again, this administration is trying to use doublespeak in reference to murderous jihadis, as a way to be uncountable for Muslim Islamic terrorist activity in our country, especially one that was warned by Russia. This inept administration wont even label the enemy as Islamic Radicals, Islamic Terrorists, or Islamic Jihadis. They say "Acts of Terror" but wont label them any person as a "Terrorist" because "one mans terrorist is another's freedom fighter" right. The fact remains VP Bonehead, that this attack was the most successful attack since 911 on American soil. They are as genuine of terrorists as any other attacker that has attacked America at home or abroad in the past 13 years. You are an embarrassment to the white house.

    April 24, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. Duke

    Islam is a religion of murderers.

    April 24, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. Steve

    They're only "knockoff jihadists" because the "jihadists" have been defeated, right Joe? After all, the Boston bombers are only "knockoff Muslims".

    April 24, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. Jack Hollis

    Good old Joe, what would we do for a laugh if we didn't have this clown to saying stupid things like this. They may be a lot of things but cowardly is not one of them. It.s too bad that Americans don't have the courage of these two.

    April 24, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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