President Obama and Mass. Gov. Patrick take center stage in what is being called a terrorist attack
Two bombs exploded nearly simultaneously and approximately 100 yards apart during Monday’s Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 176, including 17 who were critically injured. Physicians amputated 10 individuals’ severely wounded limbs.
One of the three persons killed by the bombs was an eight-year-old boy who was watching his father run the marathon. He was accompanied at the event by his mother and his sister, both of whom were injured in the bombings.
Boston police said the bombs exploded at 2:50 p.m. near the marathon finish line in Copley Square. A third bomb exploded around 4:12 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, a location fifteen minutes away from the marathon site.
The bombings forced police and other first responders to close the subway system, evacuate three hotels in the vicinity of the marathon and cancel for a time flights arriving at and departing from Boston’s Logan Field.
The bombings also thrust President Barack Obama and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick into the forefront during this national tragedy, which is being characterized as a terrorist attack.
Following the bombings, several cities tightened security. Air space was temporarily closed over Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania Avenue was closed to pedestrian traffic in front of the White House.
During a speech delivered from the White House early Monday evening, President Obama said he had spoken with Gov. Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino as well as FBI director Robert Mueller and Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security.
“We still do not know who did this or why,” the president said. “And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake about it—we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this; we will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”
Gov. Patrick said in a statement, “This is a horrific day in Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the president, Mayor Menino and our policy and safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”
By Tuesday morning, websites controlled by the Boston police, Boston Marathon and Gov. Patrick’s office, were no longer providing information about the bombings.
A young man, said to be a Saudi national, is being questioned by authorities. He was seen fleeing Copley Square just after the bombings occurred. He was tackled and held by a private citizen and was then taken into custody.
Overnight, the FBI spent several hours searching an apartment in Revere, a Boston suburb. Law enforcement officials were seen removing from the residence a duffel bag and several brown paper bags containing undisclosed items. No information about the search was available at the time of publication, but unofficially, it has been said that the apartment’s tenant is a ‘person of interest.’
According to AP sources this morning, the Pakistani Taliban has denied involvement in the Boston bombings.
Reprinted courtesy The NorthStar News & Analysis.