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. parplayer

    What the hell is a knock-off jihadis? If we call them knock-off's does it make the injury, pain & deaths less painful?

    Joe is a joke but it's not funny.

    April 24, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. Roger

    Do you think they care that we're calling them cowards Joe? The only thing they understand is a cruise missle coming down on top of them.

    April 24, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. Bob

    @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".


    Wow...I gotta sit down..nothing you mentioned is relevant. Yes...I really said that..and its true and you know it. We have a Black president...yes..so what? Gay rights? I guess endless debates about gay marriage are just so important...in my opinion we should just legalize it in all 50 states so you liberals will have to find another "cause" to fight. Women and Hispanics...I assume you are referring to Sontomayer on the Supreme Court? A step backwards because Obama selected her based on her "compelling story" rather than credentials and qualifications....which is too bad...it has the opposite effect. Obstruction? hateful? ignorant?.....sounds like cover words coming from the "enlightened" ones who think they know it all.

    April 24, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  4. omahakidw

    This guy calls them "knock-offs", and says they are somehow "frustrated" because they can`t get America to bend to the terroist will ! Hey Joe, they kill people, have America review their policies everytime they commit this crap, and so I would conclude they have accomplished allot. I know your not paying attention, but allow me to direct you to the Dictionary and the word TERROIST. Does the shorter word TERROR ring a bell ? Get out of the White House and become a member of the "real World" Americans live in !

    April 24, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. Neil Hunt

    P.S It's become crystal-clear –after several years of violent terror-incidents – either 'home grown' or otherwise –that each one unfortunately (perhaps fortunate since we then see the nature of the beast) bring out of the woodwork into the public eye all the angry home-grown 'vermin' who rail & froth at the mouth at well-meaning good men in the public-eye like Joe Biden -a man who- gaff-prone or not- has along with his sons -given extraordinary service to this country that none of his detractors could even begin to touch. I was on the internet this a.m. looking for his most-apt Seamus Heaney quote at today's memorial service for Officer Collier & accidentally stumbled on the most utterly appalling, disgusting toilet of a website full of RW extremist rants & railings & vile twists-of-truth attacks on this man who is so undeserving of any such treatment. They made me puke! Shame on them!

    April 24, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. nadsgf

    Biden doesn't have enough credibility to be seen as a public figure anymore.

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

    Terrorism is like football, you win some, you lose some. When you lose a game you go back to the drawing board and come up with a better plan. Terrorists follow that same MOD. The Boston Bombers were bumbling amateurs, actually worst than amateurs. Right now, somewhere in America, a terror-wannabe is saying to himself, " Hey, I bet I could do it better than these clowns". To some of these guys, it is just talk. It is the ones who go the extra step that we should be preparing for.
    Terror is a tidal wave, it just keeps coming

    As far as that repeated false claim that terrorists will not change America, the truth is it already has, To keep pretending that terrorist have not struck America since 9/11 is living in a fantasy world. I don't know the present death toll but about 4,000 of our citizens died in Iraq. Another 4,000 plus has died in Afghanistan. To gather that adds up to 8,000. Add in those aprox 4,000 who died on 9/11, that comes to a total of 12,000, and the number will continue until the war is over....and as we all know there is no end to the War On Terror.

    And so what, we pull our troops out of Iraq, only to send them to the next war zone tomorrow.

    April 24, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. Rada1

    The retarded one, George W. Bush already broke America's spirit.

    April 24, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. EvilWorm

    If our all knowing smart politicians allow Muslims to come here, in the thousands, in the first place who should the American people be upset with?

    Doooya think "Bite Me" Biden can do the math on that one?

    April 24, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. MajorRumpRoaster

    The "Knock-Offs" can't break American Spirit... but the Legit ones can??

    April 24, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. theINDEPENDENTone

    For a Knock-Off they did a pretty good Knock-Out. Biden unfortunately is not that intelligent. Our greatest fear and our greatest challenge is the "intelligent", "educated" and "promising" individuals that become radicalized. We need to address it – of course STOP it before it happens (in this case we failed) – but also figure out the cause and attraction. How are we not reaching them and yet others are. What message are they getting from us and what message are they getting from them. We need to stop those radicalized now.. but address the issues to stop others from being radicalized.

    April 24, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. Dan

    No, they can't, but him and obama, with their wasteful policy's can

    April 24, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. mrglobal

    So if these were authentic jihadists, they would kill more people ? Be less cowardly ?
    Such bravura is empty chest puffing.

    April 24, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. jack

    If they failed to instill fear why are they announcing no backpacks at events across the country now? I'd say thats a win them

    April 24, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. rand

    How are they KNOCK OFFS??? What they wanted to accomplish............ WORKED!!

    April 24, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. wildwallaby

    Knock-offs are never as good as the original just ask Joe and Coca-Cola. What a glib response from a man in that position.

    April 24, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. socalpimp

    Secret Service is there for a reason.

    April 24, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. Blueberry Pie Eater #1

    I pick the blueberries myself and then bake them into a delicious pie to eat. I use a mix of brown and white sugar, and lots of butter. That's the way pie should be. And I make my crust extra flakey – just like Joe Biden and Obama. Flakey. Only the pie crust should be flakey. Not the politician. But the politician is flakey. It's not right. But my pie is. The blueberries are plump and sweet, the crust is flakey and buttery. The blueberry pie is as good as America.

    April 24, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. yo!

    He prefers the real jihadis. Put them in a ring with Joe so Joe can punch their lights out!

    April 24, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. Truth seeker

    Think about this for a moment, many innocent members of a person's nationality, race and/or religion are killed in the cause of getting those that aren't. This inspires hatred towards the 'people' that are responsible. This, in turn, results in retaliation which further leads to the deaths of innocents on the other side. Does this describe the U.S. or these two brothers. Answer: both.

    April 24, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. TDiddy

    Joe is a joke!

    April 24, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. slpsms@comcast.net

    No, BO...that was 8 years under GWB that absolutely destroyed the American spirit. I think your recollection is a bit cloudy.

    April 24, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. Arthur Fonzarelli

    Yes, because we only expect authentic jihadis to attack us, not knock-offs. Jesus, Joe Biden never ceases to amaze me about how stupid he is.

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

    The administration was up to their eyeballs in this charade. Like so many other operations, this one was likely set up with help from the FBI and/or CIA. Some of the truth will come out but they will work to cover it up. Our government keeps doing this to us over and over. We have records, we have proof, and Americans continue to die so they can push their agendas. Doesn't matter if it is Bush or Obama - they are all the same. Our government has been killing Americans for decades.

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

    Smart, Joe...inflame these "cowards" a little more why don't you?

    April 24, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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