April 24th, 2013
02:37 PM ET
10 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. Susan

    Knock-off Jihadis? Mr. Biden (and company), please don't minimize the culpability of the bombers because of their age, their origin, or their inexperience. Face it, Islam is responsible for this carnage.

    April 24, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  2. Sundararajan

    Joe !

    You say they are losing. Check out the facts. They are gaining everywhere.

    When "Jo(e)kers rule, jihadis have a free run"

    I just cannot be more vitriolic than the comments already made.

    April 24, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. Kanageloa

    WOW! Joe Biden actually said something that made sense for once. Maybe there's hope for the old boy after all.

    April 24, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  4. Elvis

    These 'knock-off jihadis' killed a little boy, 2 others, and blew the legs off many others. Way to go Joe – you are still a buffoon.

    April 24, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  5. Jerry

    Knock offs, any name but what they are. Another proof of obamas failed foreign policy. Benghazi cover up and manipulation and Boston, what next?

    April 24, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. OYE

    This was just a distraction to keep us blind to what is really going on. it's obvious that those "knock-off jihadis" are not to blame. this was a staged event executed by rogue forces from within our government. It's too much of a coincidence to say that there was a drill the same day two bombs go off in the exact same place. If it was a terrorist attack from foreign forces, more than 3 people would've been killed. It would be a 9/11 sized event. My deepest apologies go out to the families of the victims of this tragic day, but this was all set up. They passed a bill called CISPA (Cyber Intelligence and Sharing and Protection Act) the same day of the bombing, yet it wasn't covered on the news. This bill is will share internet traffic information with the US government and technology and manufacturing companies. They are going to use this bill to monitor us through the internet and share this with corporations. First the government is taking our guns, now their spying on us through the internet. They want to keep us weak and outsourced. Don't take anything on the news as fact. There's always two sides to every story. Be aware of the truth; our government is lying to us.
    oh yeah btw, 9/11 was staged. Bush is the one who was behind those attacks on the twin towers. read between the lines. that is all.

    April 24, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  7. jimmy lim

    The fact of he matter is that these muslim jihadists are losers. They just want to cause and inflict max carnage, fear on the west to change their lifestyle and views and to impose their islamic and sharia views/laws on others considdered by Islam as infidels

    April 25, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  8. Knock Off

    Whoever likes to know what "Jihad" means, please refer to Quran. Islam and Jihad has nothing to do with taking lives of innocents, its strictly prohibited in the religion of "Islam" to take part or promote any kind of terrorism. So please don't use words of Quran without knowing what that really means??? or you guys just like to be ignorant as always? My sincere sympathy with all those got injured or lost their lives in Boston. We as Muslims, condemn these cowardly acts of terrorism that are targeted to unarmed innocent civilians. We respect all religions, all races and all countries... We love peace and like to see the world with no wars, deaths, or blood. For those who don't know, The true meaning of "Jihad" , Jihad means not to attack but to keep restraint, seek purification and defend. Even at wars, our religion strictly protects the rights of unarmed civilians.

    April 25, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  9. Name

    Knock-off jihadis? What a stupid comment, what are you asking for Joe, a well trained and funded Jihadis?

    April 25, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  10. jaysonrex

    Biden is, as always, a funny little man.

    April 25, 2013 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  11. Mage

    They are no more than common criminals. The rest is just political theater.

    April 25, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  12. peatstack

    A suicide drone strike takes out a terrorist and collateral civilians; this time inside the US. But, like all the other times, Joe, in your beloved drone murder program without borders; this act is blowback for Joes own war crimes. He does not think it is just to summary execute civilians using bombs?.. then he should stop doing it.

    April 25, 2013 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  13. rudolf vs

    Joe is next to useless, he has been put on the ticket in order to make Obama look good.

    April 25, 2013 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  14. FubarObama

    Biden is a tool

    April 25, 2013 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  15. RJ

    Knock-off jihadists will not break our resolve? As against what, real ones that will?

    April 25, 2013 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  16. TommytheT

    All I can say is wow. This gentleman is a walking fool. If he is not lying about being near the Amish School killings, he is making totally stupid statements at a funeral. That smirk at the debate was not an intentional tactic to swing the debate, it was the smirk of a true and total idiot.

    April 25, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Dick Smegma

    Lost in space without a helmet.
    Pathetic hollow suit.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Yes, Sean Hannity is a pathetic hollow suit. And so are those who watch FOX and then run to other networks to spread Hannity's hate across America.

    April 25, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  18. troy arbogast

    They failed to cause fear? Lets see. They locked down Watertown and several towns nearby. 10,000 cops and national guard soldiers violated the constitution and forced people to stay in their homes. They forced people out of their homes and searched these homes without consent. But they didn't cause fear.

    April 25, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
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