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These Tech Firms Played Stunning Roles in the Marathon Bombing Case

Like most newspaper reporters, whenever there was a big breaking story - or a major tragedy - I was trained to find a "local angle" - you know, a perspective on the story that our own readers would be able to relate to.

The financial newsletter business actually isn't a whole lot different. When a big story breaks, we look at the stocks we've recommended to uncover investments that will be helped or hurt by the development that's now the only thing everyone seems to be talking about.

The Boston Marathon bombing case is the latest example of what I'm telling you about.

As the days passed, the suspects were identified and run to ground. Finally, the dust started to settle. That's when some of the ancillary details began to emerge - and is when I discovered that two of the tech firms that our experts recommended to you actually played important roles in the case.

I'm talking about iRobot Corp. (Nasdaq: IRBT) and CommTouch Software Corp. (Nasdaq: CTCH).

An iRobot "bot" was used to make sure a car was free of explosives - meaning the area was safe for police - right before they arrested the surviving suspect, who was hiding nearby. And CommTouch helped thwart a malware contagion, which really could have thwarted the publics' effort to help police ... when they needed that help the most.

As interesting as this was, and as anxious as I was to share this with you, I also didn't want to have it appear as if we're advocating a "profit from tragedy" mentality.

It's a quandary we always struggle with in this business.

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