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. Spartacus

    Nice to know that our elected officials can make statements such as this yet allow knock-off jihadis' to knock us off while providing welfare benefits/ebt to these cowards for years. It is hard to believe that we the taxpayer actually fund this vermin to commit these acts against our own, where is the outrage? How about some checks and balances and get our hard earned tax dollars to benefit citizens of this country, naturalized citizens.
    Nice for CNN to post the story in o so small text as a side note buried under all the other related, then remove the whole subject after 15min post. Bang up job.....

    April 24, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. bad2worse

    I like Joe. He's funny, in messed up kind of way..................

    April 24, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Romney is Still NOT My Hero


    Positive changes as outlined by sly in addition to the first African American president, gay people finally having better rights in this country, more women and hispanics in higher offices than ever before, etc. This is in spite of all of the obstruction from the hateful, ignorant, sorry excuses for leaders you obviously follow. Please stop watching Faux News for your "facts".

    April 24, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    that we WERE'NT attacked by Jihadists....under Obama. It is too obvious to ignore.

    April 24, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. BO

    Obama already broke America's spirit Joe.

    April 24, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. george

    If I was a terrorist, I would head for the suburbs where the opportunities are just as great and, where there are few or no pesky cameras. Why do law enforcement always assume they know where terrorists will strike next. Simply because a terrorist struck there before is no reason to believe he has to continue striking there.

    Think of all those city school busses sitting in an open, unguarded parking lot, just waiting for the next school day to begin. If kids can sneak in and paint graffiti on the busses, think of what an adult terrorist can do to those same bus. And not a single camera in sight.
    Vice President Biden and smug officials like him need to spend more time preparing for the attacks to come and less on the ones of yesterday.

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

    "Yes, it was Sniffit. By the wannabee little boy pretenders "

    I believe it's sort of a psychological version of what politicians like to do prior to debates when they suddenly start puffing up the other guy's debate skills. Puffing up the opponent prior to a debate makes you look better if you beat them and gives you ready made excuses if you do poorly. Same here. They want these guys to be elevated to a certain status so that their tough talk sounds even tougher. It's pretty lame to try to tough talk about a couple of wayward young men who got radicalized HERE almost a decade after coming to our country as children, had no real political message whatsoever, ran like two little chickensh-ts the second they got ID'd, one of whom went out in a hail of bullets and run over byt he other one, clearly had no real plan for any of it other than "make homeade bombs according to internet recipe and set them off in crowd," never took credit for their acts like real terrorist groups do (i.e., what's the point of these things as a method of delivering a political message if you don't announce it?), and really just committed an atrocious crime like copycats who idealized and idolized real jihadis. Sooo, the tough-talkers need to pretend these guys are no different than hardened Taliban and al Qaeda members in Afghanistan in order for their tough-talk to actually sound tough. It's really quite yawn insipiring cowboy chest thumping from the right.

    April 24, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. Silverado

    Biden is right - these are "knock-off Jihadis".
    The uncle is also right - these are "losers".
    So, call them "Loser knock-off Jihadis". These two losers were caught in just a couple of days.
    One of them is dead, and the other one is speechless and will wish that he were dead.

    April 24, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Codestud3

    For being knock off jihadists they were pretty successful. Hey we even threw in a couple of days of martial law during which no a soul was stirring not even a mouse in Boston.

    April 24, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Richard Right

    Biden, why oh why would you belittle their efforts, They killed three, maimed 10, and injured a total of almost 200. Are these unimportant losses to you? Many claims will be made by Muslims but all we have to remember is their religion is a religion of death of innocents, lies, and enslavement of their own people.

    April 24, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. Meki60

    Biden is a knock-off person

    April 24, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. Klaus

    nice Biden.... this makes us feel much safer ... you are truly an knock off vice president.
    your talk is cheap and does not accomplish anything , like the whole presidency... well nothing good anyways

    April 24, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama

    that we WERE'NT attacked by Jihadists....under Obama. It is too obvious to ignore.

    I tried to respond to your comment, but I'm done playing moderation games with CNN. Suffice it to say, I agree 100% with your post.

    April 24, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. fuzzback

    Looking more every day like Joe is SPOT ON.

    April 24, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. goddessluckystar

    VP Joe (can I call him Joe)is like French bread. You know hard and crusty on the outside but warm and soft in the inside.

    April 24, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. DDP

    people amaze me, what does this article have to do with immigration and guns control?

    April 24, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. Spgfld Tom

    Hey, just a few weeks ago wasn't Zany Uncle Joe saying the NRA was the biggest threat to America? Did he change his mind or is this just a reaction the the Crisis du Jour. Where does Uncle Joe stand on "Immigration Reform" – you know, that program where we give amnesty to 11 million criminals. Biden '16...'cause we need a laugh.

    April 24, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. zaphed

    Joe is way cool. Go Joe.

    April 24, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. lol

    Refuse to change? Id say the Patriot Act is a pretty big change, we gave up some constitutional; rights and ignored who we are as Americans to allow that. Seems like significant change to me. But who knows with these newer generations of bleeding heart liberals who don't care about the bill of rights or the constitution its probably right as rain in their high school educated minds.

    April 24, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. Mike

    So he's implying that real ones can break our spirit?
    These two 'knock offs' shut down one of the largest cities in our country! How about they fix the problem and follow up on leads next time instead of just labeling them as 'knock offs'.

    I wonder if the victims families or the amputee's share the same sentiment as Biden. This was a real attack. They need a real fix to prevent FBI watch list names from becoming successful like Tamerlan did.

    April 24, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. goddessluckystar

    VP Joe (can I call him Joe) is like French bread. You know hard and crusty on the outside but warm and soft on the inside. giggles

    April 24, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. DJ Reality

    Thank God for Joe Bidden! I the Washington world of lack luster politicians we have Joe. I mean let's face is Bohner isn't funny and Eric Cantor hes no personality. And ole Mitch just doesn't do it anymore. He's the worst of them all. They recorded themselves down there in Tennessee. No plot. They were trying to emulate Carl Rove. Not plot, there never was. Now let's look into McConnell for fibbing. Now Joe, Joe Bidden. God bless him he's a good Catholic boy . "knock-off jihadis" He's the man. I love Joe Hie Is The Man...........

    April 24, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    two things one we were here to honor fallen hero not talk about these 2 idot's . plus the vp praised our 1st responders well then we should pay them for what they do not threaten take away money because you can't agree on a budget, 2 cnn gave more coverage to the two morons and there family then to sean collier or any of the other victims shame on cnn . and one more thing where are all the big names as far as donating go are all politicans this cheap .

    April 24, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. noteasilyswayed

    Unfortunately, copycat "knock-off jihadis" will be emboldened by what these two were able to do and how much disruption they caused. I personally think we will be seeing many more of these episodes in the future.
    As to why they did it, my speculation is that they were both losers (one unemployed and the other one flunking out of school) who displaced their frustrations and anger to an outside source (the USA). This is what people who do not want to take responsibility for their own failures normally end up doing. Twisted religious dogma gives people like this the justification for committing such atrocious acts.

    April 24, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. declan

    Its been a while since we heard from dopey Joe. I missed him.

    April 24, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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