April 24th, 2013
02:37 PM ET
12 months 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. freedom

    "knock-off jihadists"? Tell that to the people who had their limbs blown off! These tactics are from the core of the group. The Obama admin. can't hide that fact – even if they don't have the intelligence or courage to name our enemy!

    April 24, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Brown

    Don't listen to Biden, he is one of the political class elite whom have brought terror
    to America's doorstep.

    Terrorists don't care about our open society, our freedoms or our way of life.

    Terrorists are hitting us because of what our political elitists are doing in their countries.

    April 24, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Demigod Vadik, CA

    I love Biden...

    April 24, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Mike

    This is suppose to be their finest?? Dumbocrats?? No wonder were in the mess were in!!!

    April 24, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz aka Take Back The House

    They're knock off jihadis because if they were real jihadists they would've blew themselves up and claimed responsibility.

    April 24, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. California

    Sniffit – Such hatred coming from the self proclaimed higher party. Hate is all you people have. It's truly a shame.

    April 24, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. ig88a

    Are bona fide jihadis now to be considered the the opposite of "twisted, perverted, cowardly knock-off jihadis" who failed to instill fear in the American people"? Biden says the dumbest things. Is 'knock off' like the assault 'style' rifles that the left thinks are such a problem. Maybe they should ban Jihadi 'style' jihadists. Biden talks as if these are lesser threats than real jihadis. I guess this is in a way toward explaining why they didn't pay enough attention to them over the last couple years.

    April 24, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    MesaMax

    The Benghazi Consulate Massacre, the Fort Hood Massacre, the Boston Bombing Massacre. The atrocities are adding up under Obama's term.
    -----------

    Cheering atrocities against America are you? How very patriot of you. And others of like mind.

    April 24, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. rs

    You have to love all the hate from the Right. Never mind that Vice President Biden was representing OUR nation at a funeral of a young law enforcement officer who was killed in action. Oh, no, they just keep on bashing and slandering. Of course they don't actually care about law enforcement, nor do they have the slightest decency to simply say "sorry for your loss". No, everything must be politicized and childish points must be scored.
    What wretches they are!

    April 24, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. rs

    rs1201

    what's a knock off jihadi?
    ________________________
    Members of the GOP/TP.

    April 24, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. John john the pipers son 1

    Oh, Joe you disappoint me with this nonsense rhetoric you could have taken the high ground by just S'nTHU. You're no better than the silly republicans, no vote for U, better let Hillary take the wheel and get in the back seat.

    April 24, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. Bob

    Seems a strange way to characterize them. They were no less effective than any other trained islamic radical and frankly they were very effective. I'm not sure what Bidens point was here.

    There really isn't all that much that could have been done to prevent this. It's not like we are going to ban a religion or something like that.

    April 24, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. Ruth

    The difference between Democrats and Republicans.....Democrats TELL you what to think and Republicans TEACH you HOW to think.....

    April 24, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Bobby

    If he doesn't get death penalty (which I hope he will), we will have to provide food and lodging for him for the rest of his life.

    April 24, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. cory stereo

    I'll say this about Biden, the man knows how to give a good heartfelt speech. Especially when compared with Obama's "textbook politician speech" junk.

    April 24, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Bob

    The tax payers dollars President Obama is going to use to fly to commemorate the opening of the Bush library that represent's the worst so-called president in U.S. history should be spent strenghtening Home Land Security.

    April 24, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Arcy

    Just when I think I've figured out which one is Dufus #1 and Dufus #2, I have to re-order.

    April 24, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Donnie the Lion

    Most of America wouldn't be satisfied if they were getting hamburgers and a back massage from Kate Upton....don't sweat it, VP Biden. We are a nation of complainers.

    April 24, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. RetiredUSMC

    CNN -
    Why are you refusing to expose the extremist jihad facts of this case? I'm starting to believe the other major media outlets that this company is biased towards facts.

    April 24, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. FUBAR

    @ Ruth
    Fantastic....truer words were never written.

    April 24, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. rs

    "Republicans TEACH you HOW to think"
    _________________________________

    Now that one is funny! Obvioulsy, they are still stuck in logic 101 because all they seem to do is parrot what Uncle Rush, the NRA, Mr. Norquist and all of their other corporate handlers tell them. It is also why they have no solutions for today's problems.

    April 24, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    @Ruth – The difference between Democrats and Republicans.....Democrats TELL you what to think and Republicans TEACH you HOW to think.....
    --------------------
    LOL. The difference between Democrats and Republicans...Democrats allow people to EVOLVE and formulate their own opinions, and Republicans can't think at all.

    April 24, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. rs

    The Benghazi Consulate Massacre, the Fort Hood Massacre, the Boston Bombing Massacre. The atrocities are adding up under Obama's term.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Even as a sum, these don't hold a candle to the CF that was Iraq. Republicans have no memory at all apparently. It is also strangely un-American the way people like this cheer at every attack. I guess they prefer terrorists to our government. Very sick indeed.

    April 24, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Orville

    This is the phrasing of a man in denial about the constant threat faced by innocent people. The "wannabe" term indicates Biden believes these two aren't terrorists in the sense the 911 criminals were. While Biden misspeaking is NOTHING new, again he is sadly mistaken. And more troublesome than that, he seems to indicate that we still really haven't been attacked by "true" jihadists since 911. Now, why would he want to try and create that false mindset?

    April 24, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. cj

    "It infuriates them that we refuse to bend, refuse to change, refuse to yield to fear"

    Is he talking about the media's reaction to the recent gun control bill?

    April 24, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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