April 24th, 2013
02:37 PM ET
9 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. history repeats

    Ruth, stop telling me what to think

    April 24, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. KuttaCNN

    Boston Bombing is a Classic American Collosal Failure from FBI, Homeland Security, US Intelligent and State Department after spending close to $1T every year all together in these agency combined.

    April 24, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Joe

    Biden without a doubt has the lowest IQ of any VP ever. He makes Dan Quayle look like Einstein.

    April 24, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Nun-ya

    Yeah, how do we even know these guys did it? Where is the footage of them planting the bomb they say they have? Where's the dash cam of them shooting at officers?

    April 24, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Bill

    Sorry they were jihadis"

    April 24, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Nick

    There is many a day I think Obama just trots Biden out because he wants a chuckle.

    April 24, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Chris

    And this man, Biden, he plans to run for President? Forget it BUB!

    April 24, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. wjm

    My condolences to the family and friend off this fallen man.

    Those who use this forum to attack one side or another are should put the punches away for another day. Don't disrespect this young man and his family.

    With the hate in your heads.


    April 24, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Get over it

    Plugs McGaffe strikes again.

    April 24, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Richard Cranola

    This "old fart" better learns how to shut up ... LOL!

    April 24, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Sean C.

    Yes, that's why Republicans recently opposed teaching critical thinking in schools because it was a threat to religion and their parents' values. Republicans are the party of "because God said so".

    "The core of the group"? How asinine. They planted some bombs. Anybody can do that; indeed, there have been numerous failed bomb attempts in recent years by domestic terrorists, and foreign. Nothing about the perpetrators of the Boston attack suggests a larger organization, particularly as nobody has claimed credit, which is the opposite of how the major terrorist organizations work.

    April 24, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Melissa

    Biden blames knock-off Jihadists. I blame American stupidity. Instead of being a step ahead of the terrorists, we are a step behind them picking up the pieces.

    April 24, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Evergreen

    After 9 11 the Democrates put aside their difference with President Bush and united behind him. If only the GOP could show the same Patriotism.

    April 24, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Jon

    Mr. Biden, they weren't knock off jihadists they were real jihadists and people died. They also didn't "fail to put fear into Americans" which is obvious from the fact that they locked down an entire city and people were afraid to leave their houses. All of the people who witnessed the bombing or were victims of the bombing were afraid. Mr. Biden your macho, middle school approach of denying reality isn't doing anyone any favors. These attacks need to be taken seriously not brushed off as a failed attempt to scare Americans.

    April 24, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. DaveinIL

    Joe Biden and Liz Warren eulogizing the officer is more about their political visibility than his death.

    April 24, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Name

    Must everything be broken down into dem. Or Reb lines or comments...biden gave remarks at a FUNERAL...not the DNC. i thought he spoke well....enough said.

    April 24, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Tom

    All you cynics – your arrogant and judgemental mindset. Do you post on these stories to feel good about yourselves? That you think you sound so intelligent? This guy gave a tribute to a slain public servant, a hero, a brother. And all most of you have to say is criticism? Maybe it is the arrogant judmental ways that such people here show that is the source of anger toward the U.S. Shame on all of you cynical sad & sour people. Try to stop and think of how lucky you are to be a citizen of a country with people like Joe Biden at your side.

    April 24, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Edward

    Some very nice words and thoughtful feeling out of Biden this time. I found nothing clumsy or sloppy about it.

    April 24, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    Rush Limbaugh-" Go out and enjoy the weekend: I'll tell you what you need to know Monday morning."

    Is that teaching anyone to think for themselves?

    April 24, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. ERKO

    Boston was never afraid ... people stayed inside to let the Police do work. Too much of this happens now-a-days for people to fear it. This tactic is cowardly and doesn't even make us flinch anymore.

    April 24, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Peter

    "knock-off jihadis" ??? For years, chechens bombed Russia, and for years American media and officials alike called "rebels" or "fighter". So, what changed, why suddenly they are called "knock-off jihadis" and "terrorists". I am confused here... why not "rebels"?

    April 24, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. ColdWarVet

    If anyone has seen the ventriliquist, Jeff Dunham, Biden reminds me of his dummy "Walter", only more intelligent things come out of Walter's mouth.

    April 24, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. David

    It's a lot easier for someone like Biden, with 24/7 security, to make these statements.

    And "knock-off jihadists?!? Does that somehow make them less "jihadist", or less dangerous?

    Their jihadist, and the non-violent Muslim world needs to speak up and take back their religion.

    April 24, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    @Dominican mama 4 Obama–Watch out, you're sounding like a Republican. Usually the looney left is all about compassion and understanding (just look at the CNN headlines the last few days-the Islam apologists are out in force). You're out of your comfort zone here
    Funny how you admit that it is your ilk, Republicans, that embrace doing away with "due process" in between all their ridiculous flag-waving and screaming about how "their" Constitutional rights are being tampled on. The Rethugs on this site bring up the Constitution only when it is convenient to them, but they have no interest in true adherence to it.
    As for me, having voted both D and R,I am who I am and will not be boxed in by your perception of who I am nor CNN's.
    The little f'er should've died before he reached the hospital. Call it the Dominican in me....

    April 24, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. bob

    Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    I agree with you whole-heartedly. I think these are the beginning of great times for this county. It's shameful that some people just do not like positive changes. It's refreshing to find someone who can see the light.

    Really....what positive changes are you talking about? Stagnant growth? Rising unemployment ? (recent gains are only because so many people are no longer counted) How about the increase from 37 million to over 50 million people on foodstamps??...wow...yes sir that is progress. The Boston Bombing is actually the 2nd terrorist attack since Obama took office when you count the Fort Hood attack...but Obama called that "workplace violence". Then there was the Benghazi Consulate Attack due to the failure of our state dept....but Hillary Clinton said it didn't make any difference who was to blame. Lets not forget ObamaCare that is raising rates, rationing care, and running doctors out of business. Oh and Obama's almost 17 trillion dollar DEBT....7 Trillion in 4.5 years under his administration...which the CBO projects to be over 20 TRILLION by the time Obama finally leaves offce.....Wow. Tell us...what positive changes again?

    April 24, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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