The bombings at the Boston Marathon have rattled the nation's sense of security - showing us such an attack could happen anywhere, even here. One local terrorism expert is sharing some insight into just how realistic those fears may be.
When the last stretch of the race became a crime scene - putting the whole nation on alert, Nick Audette felt the impact nine hours south in Ashland.
"Ever since 9/11, everyone is going to be quick to pull the terrorism card," said Audette. "It could just be some lunatic doing it. You just don't know because you just don't have all the facts."
Audutte says this recent attacked has moved him to keep a close eye out for anyone or anything that appears suspicious - and report that to police.
Thomas Badey is the International Studies Director at Randolph Macon College. He has spent the past 20 years researching domestic and foreign terrorism. He says Richmonders shouldn't live in fear but should remain realistic that an unexpected attack like this could happen anywhere especially in highly populated cities or events.
"I think any of the major cities in the U.S. can become a target depending on who the perpetrator is. I think in this case, we really don't know who the perpetrator is or who the perpetrators are," Badey said.
Right now, there's no confirmation an organized terrorist group is responsible for the assault. Badey says people have every reason to be concerned, but they shouldn't let the fear consume them.
"At the end of the day we have to realize the number of Americans killed by terrorism, whether domestic or international, is relatively small each year," Badey said. "Statistically, it's probably less likely you're going to get hurt or killed by terrorism than to win the lottery."
Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
WWBT-TV NBC 12
P.O. Box 12
On Your Side
Video and Pics