The bombings Monday at the Boston Marathon show little of the evil genius displayed on Sept. 11, 2001 — only diabolical fiendishness. But the bombings occurred at a place, near the finish line, and a time, four hours after the race began, when crowds would be dense.

Terrorism needs targets, and urban environments or crowded events are always going to be tempting, whether the weapons are crude pipe bombs, as in Boston and at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, or the four jetliners on Sept. 11.

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