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. Sniffit

    "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."

    As a resident near Boston and someone who travels into Boston every single day on the subway for work, I can tell you, without any doubt in my mind, that WE ARE NOT AFRAID. The lockdown was for safety during a manhunt while the suspects were at large trying to escape and large police forces were hunting them down...not because people were afraid. People run from explosions but the immediate fear of the even lasted minutes. For most...and I do not pretend to speak for the victims or their families about this...life is back to normal other than a lingering sadness that it happened and our resolve not to allow this to scar our humanity with things like fear or a need for vengeance. You insult us. This WAS a failed attempt to scare Americans because we won't be scared into living in fear. Biden wasn't trivializing what happned. He was trivializing their ridiculous belief that such incidents can break us.

    April 24, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. holam

    I usually don't like Biden, but what he said was heartfelt and I think it was really good. Good going Joe.

    April 24, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. ug

    We don't fear moslem terrorists or liberal terrorist like nogojoe.

    April 24, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. McBob79

    What an embarrassment to the country. Basically he's downplaying the ongoing threats of radical Islam by trying to say this is a one-off event. Guy is a complete empty suit.

    April 24, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Do you post on these stories to feel good about yourselves? That you think you sound so intelligent?"

    I'll leave others to decide the intelligence behind their posts. What they really want is to get folks riled up. I'll also leave others to decide how riled up they each want to get over these comments.

    As for me, I'm well past caring what any of them think, or post.

    But, I do agree that they are a sad and sour lot. Mother issues, no doubt.

    April 24, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Jc

    I'm not a big fan of Biden, but what a great statement. Political differences aside, I know exactly what he's talking about. My father died when I was 10. He was a super hero in my eyes and so much bigger than life. My teen years were rife with pain and suffering. How could this happen? Why isn't he here to see my accomplishments. When I was 25 my first son was born. Amid various emotions I stopped and got the biggest grin on my face. My wife asked me why I was smiling like that out of the blue, being that we had been up for 48 hours and completely exhausted, and I said "I feel how much my dad loved me!" My son is 10 now, and I can imagine just how much he would miss me if I were gone. I know my dad so much more now that I'm a parent than I did when he was alive. I think of him almost everytime I look at my son. I hope the people that loved this man will one day get to that place where its more of a celebration of his life than sadness. Its an amazingly powerful moment when you make that change.

    April 24, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Biscotti

    Reading between the lines, this means nothing will change. Don't even ask for changes. We love it as it is. We want to embrace all muslims, even if they might kill you guys down the road.

    April 24, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Shh..

    nun-ya i completely agree with you.. Its time the police start providing us with real proof. There is no proof of them putting the bombs down and no proof of how the shootout went down. there are too many different stories going around, tamerlane was shot dead or ran over by his brother cause they keep going back and forth.. I could keep going with this but my point is there is no solid evidence and also we stand on the land of the free and our motto is innocent until proven guilty thats why so many of you say we have one of the best justice systems in the world but all of you are the first to throw away all our morals as americans and say guilty before proven that way, if you ask me that is a bunch of hipocracy. Wait until he is proven guilty cause that is the american way not judge beforehand. That is all

    April 24, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. lmc2013

    That's right folks, nothing to see here. Just a teenage who went traveling and came home and wanted to kill someone. No muslim connection. Just like the fort hood "workplace violence". Meanwhile the government trampled the civil rights of almost everyone in Boston when 9,000 armed police and Secret Service members rolling through town in armored tanks pointed loaded guns in citizen's faces as they ordered them to leave their homes with their hands on their heads so they could illegally search their homes for this 19 year old. This is just the beginning folks. Obama and DHS want to see what they can get away with. Look at the pictures of Boston and you will see how the police raided homes in Germany. It's time to wake up!!!!

    April 24, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Biscotti

    Looks like the government is reluctant to call the Chechen "freedom fighters" terrorists. Somehow, it doesn't fit their political agenda.

    April 24, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Dan G

    And the Progressive Media will continue to ask, "What could have made them do this?" RADICAL ISLAM

    April 24, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Rum Runner

    LOL! "Knock off jihadists"!

    We should do something about "knock off presidents and knock off VPs"

    April 24, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Titus Americanus

    I guess if they are just "knockoff's" we could run them through the kangaroo courts.

    April 24, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Muslimah

    These young men watched the bombing videos in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria , Pakistan etc...deaths of 3 people amd their biography is known to the whole world, victims with amputated limbs will receive public donations and some of them even appeared on theagazine front cover.. Innocent civilians are killed everyday in afghan and Iraq and no one publishes anything on them...these "knock off jihadis" (word jihadi is completely misinterpreted first of all! No one would even term these guys as jihadis in the Muslim world!) , I'm afraid has open doors to terrorism in America! America needs to seriously start minding its own business and leave the Middle East ALONE! that is the only way I believe is the way to close book on terrorism

    April 24, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    "This WAS a failed attempt to scare Americans because we won't be scared into living in fear. Biden wasn't trivializing what happned. He was trivializing their ridiculous belief that such incidents can break us."

    Yes, it was Sniffit. By the wannabee little boy pretenders ... to the hyped up media throwing every conspiracy theory they could think of out at us to drum up viewer ratings. Apparently it worked for some who would otherwise consider themselves really tough and courageous. Back under the bed they all went wimpering and crying about Jihadists and Islamists coming to get them.

    April 24, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. oldpatriot

    What a load of crap, the US Air Force Technical Academy report showed very clearly that terrorism is performed because of religious beliefs but is the 100% direct result of foreign military occupation. If we want to be safer and stop terrorist attacks then stop invading foreign nations – it seems like a pretty simple concept to me.

    April 24, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Brad

    Cool it "Sniffit" and take off your Rush Colored Glasses and quit sipping the TEA (party) Biden was spot on! You can go cower in fear if you want to. Apparently this admininstration is the only one that takes terroism seriously, heck they had to finish the job Bush couldnt and get Bin laden.

    April 24, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. BJoyce

    For those who don't like his macho approach, I challenge you to give me examples of this type of situation in which the executive branch did not assert this approach. America needs to feel macho to deal psychologically with these incidents (though they shouldn't). It is part of American culture. That's why Biden was selected for VP – because Obama can't convey that type of machismo that Americans crave (whether they realize it or not).

    April 24, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. micheal renken

    yes thank you for that i so agree

    April 24, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Reaganlives4ever

    There you are, at the end of a bad week...and you think the FBI gaffes and media gaffes are behind us...that we can be rational and analyze what happened....and then Joe Biden shows up.

    April 24, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. jon

    These 2 "bombers" were just another couple of inept idiots – just like the "shoe bomber" who could not even light his own shoe, and the "underwear bomber" who just burned his gonads. Bunch of silly fools.

    April 24, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. me

    Alight, who let crazy joe speak again?

    April 24, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    By the wannabee little boy pretenders ... to the hyped up media throwing every conspiracy theory they could think of out at us to drum up viewer ratings. Apparently it worked for some who would otherwise consider themselves really tough and courageous. Back under the bed they all went wimpering and crying about Jihadists and Islamists coming to get them
    The so-called patriots on this site are besides themselves with RAGE and DISSPPOINTMENT that it WERE'NT attacked by Jihadists....under Obama. It is too obvious to ignore.
    If they were real Americans they should be relieved and rejoicing that these nincompoops turned out to be nobodies that nobody even cared claim. But no. They are pissed off and intent into making this into something that it is not: President Obama's equivalent of a terrorist attack under his watch in our home front.
    Let them choke on their dissappointment while the rest of us rejoice for the safety of our country, the extraordinary job of all the law enforcement agencies involved in the capture of the dipsticks, Our Joe's compassionate words at this memorial, and our President's leadership and governance.
    After all, WE represent the majority of Americans who rejoice in America's safety NOT these delusional conspiracy and hatred driven fake "patriots" that slither amongst us.

    April 24, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. liberal disease

    Biden is a typical liberal, he constantly complains about how unjust this country is to the poor and how the Rich get all of the benefits, than when some welfare recipient goes off he is surprised.

    April 24, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Cool it "Sniffit" and take off your Rush Colored Glasses and quit sipping the TEA (party) Biden was spot on! You can go cower in fear if you want to."

    Seriously? Read the whole post...you must;ev read the post I was quoting and thought it was mine.

    April 24, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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