Our Views: New crimes of terrorism

The two bombs that exploded in the city of Volgograd in southern Russia claimed more than 30 innocent lives. Whatever our differences with the current Russian government, and they are many, the United States joins with the entire civilized world in repudiating these acts of terrorism.

Like the bombs that struck the Boston Marathon, the killers struck with devices packed with shrapnel, possibly carried in a bag or backpack. One tore apart a trolley bus on Monday. Another exploded Sunday in the main Volgograd railway station, killing many travelers. New Year’s is a major Russian holiday, and many travel to visit friends and family.

Volgograd was formerly Stalingrad, the scene of one of World War II’s pivotal battles. It is about 400 miles from the site of this year’s Winter Olympics. The Russian government has pledged to secure the Olympic site against terrorism, but as the entire world has learned in the past few years, even the toughest security measures can be foiled. Sunday’s blast occurred at metal detectors in the station, suggesting that the bomb might have exploded prematurely. Still, it served a deadly purpose.

We hope that these events will not cloud the Olympics, in which the entire world comes together.

What should not be forgotten is that no political cause justifies these criminal acts of terrorism, murdering innocents on buses and trains. The “soft targets” of Volgograd did not deserve their fates, and if the United States can be of any assistance in finding the killers, we are sure that the American people will be pleased to see it.