NewsNational News


What we know about the terrorist attack, Boston Marathon aftermath

Posted at 12:13 PM, Apr 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-16 12:13:12-04

(CNN) —

New developments:

— “This was a heinous and cowardly act and, given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism,” President Barack Obama said on Tuesday at the White House after meeting with key advisers about the Boston Marathon bombing.

— Obama said officials do not know whether the bombing was the work of a terrorist group or “a malevolent individual,” nor do authorities have a sense of what may have been the motive.

— “We will find whoever harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice,” he said.

Previously reported:

Three people died and scores hurt in two bomb blasts, 12 seconds apart, that erupted near the finish line of Monday’s Boston Marathon, police said.

At least eight of the wounded are children.


— No one is in custody, Police Commissioner Ed Davis told reporters Tuesday.

— Authorities are processing “the most complex crime scene that we have dealt with in the history of our department,” Davis said.

— “Make no mistake: An act of cowardice and of this severity cannot be justified or explained,” District Attorney Dan Conley said. “It can only be answered.”

— Thirty forensic specialists and a number of dogs trained to detect explosive devices and their residue are at the scene of the blasts, according to Gene Marquez, special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

— No unexploded devices have been found, Marquez said.

— Authorities are asking those who may have video or pictures from the scene around the time of the blasts to call city or FBI hotlines.

— The blast site will take several days to process, Marquez said.

— FBI Agent Rick DesLauriers said law enforcement has received a “voluminous” number of tips.

— Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller met with Obama at the White House.

— A law enforcement official said there was no specific suspect in the bombings and no leading theory on a motive.

— The official said investigators have found no surveillance video showing the bombs being put in place but were continuing to comb through video from nearby businesses, etc.

— The intelligence community is poring through all threat reporting to see if there is anything that could be connected to the explosions in Boston, U.S. counterterrorism officials said.

— The federal Emergency Response Team has cleared the crime scene near the finish line and is beginning to inventory the evidence, a federal law enforcement source said.

— The device may have been placed in a trash can, from which shrapnel was created when it detonated.

— Authorities searched an apartment late Monday in the town of Revere, northeast of Boston, and removed items, but would not say how the search might be linked to the investigation.

— The official said the Revere search is connected to a young Saudi man on a student visa who has been questioned at a hospital.

— The initial search found nothing related to the bombing, the official said.

— The search took place with consent, so no search warrant was needed, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.

— U.S. and Saudi officials said more than one Saudi has been interviewed. CNN knows of a male, whose apartment was searched, and a female. All those interviewed are cooperating, and none has been labeled a suspect, Saudi officials, said.

— Investigators have urged police to be on the lookout for a “darker-skinned or black male” with a possible foreign accent in connection with Monday’s bombings, according to a law enforcement advisory obtained by CNN. The man, seen with a black backpack and sweatshirt, was trying to enter a restricted area about five minutes before the first explosion, the notice says.

— The FBI has taken over the investigation’s lead role, said Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the bureau’s Boston office.

— “The situation remains fluid, and it remains too early to establish the cause and motivation,” the FBI’s Boston Division said in a statement asking people to call in with any information, images or details related to the explosions.

— Obama on Monday ordered the “full resources” of the federal government to respond to the bombings, and called for increased security around the United States as necessary.

— The Pakistani Taliban was not involved in the attack, spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said.

— Federal law enforcement has been placed on “Level 1 mobilization,” U.S. government sources said. “That’s equivalent to all hands on deck,” one official said. A senior federal official told CNN that teams were on standby to search flights leaving the United States; no team had been activated.

The devices:

— A law enforcement official said the only devices recovered are the two that blew up, and no unexploded devices have been found. This account differs from others. The official said investigators have not determined how the two bombs were detonated. The official did not know whether the bombs contained ball bearings or other shrapnel.

— One unexploded device was found at a hotel on Boylston Street near the bomb site and another unexploded device was found at an undisclosed location, said Rep. Bill Keating, D-Massachusetts. Keating, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, called Monday’s incident a “sophisticated, coordinated, planned attack.”

— But a law enforcement official said no unexploded device had been found.


— In all, 176 people were treated at area hospitals after the blasts, with 17 in critical condition, Commissioner Davis told reporters.

— Two explosive ordnance disposal sweeps were carried out Monday, the first early in the morning and the second an hour before the first runners crossed the finish line, Davis said. “They did not turn up any evidence,” he said.

— Martin Richard, 8, was killed. His mother, Denise, underwent surgery for a brain injury, and his 6-year-old sister lost her leg, WHDH reported.

— Eight of the 29 patients at Massachusetts General Hospital were in critical condition late Monday, trauma surgeon Peter Fagenholz said. The most serious wounds “have been combined, complex lower injuries that involve blood vessels, bone and tissue,” and several underwent amputations, he said.

— The bombings resulted in at least 10 amputations and left doctors picking ball bearings out of victims in the emergency room, a terrorism expert briefed on the investigation said.

— Some of the wounded were treated in medical tents that had been erected near the finish line to treat exhausted runners. Others were taken to nearby hospitals. — In addition to the patients treated at Massachusetts General; 21 patients were treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; 23 at Boston Medical Center; 18 at Tufts Medical Center; 31 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; 10 at Boston Children’s Hospital; at least four at Carney Hospital; 18 at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center; and one at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.


— All off-duty Boston police officers were called in to help with the response to the attack, Massachusetts Emergency Management said. Additional security measures were being taken throughout the city, including at Boston’s Logan Airport, MEMA spokesman Peter Judge said. The airport remained open, with additional security procedures in place.

— More than 400 Massachusetts National Guard troops had already been on duty, assigned to help local police keep the route clear for runners.

— Officials in other cities, including London, Washington, New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles, said they were monitoring events and stepping up security.

— London Met Police Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry said: “A security plan is in place for the London Marathon. We will be reviewing our security arrangements in partnership with London Marathon.”


— “This is a horrific day in Boston,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said. “My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured.”

— In a telegram to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, a spokesman for Pope Francis said, “At this time of mourning, the Holy Father prays that all Bostonians will be united in a resolve not to be overcome by evil, but to combat evil with good (cf. Rom 12:21), working together to build an ever more just, free and secure society for generations yet to come.”

— A number of professional sports teams held moments of silence Monday night.

— The U.S. House of Representatives stopped debate at 5:09 p.m. ET to observe a moment of silence on the House floor.

— Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir condemned the bombings. “What occurred today in Boston is a heinous crime which contradicts the values of humanity,” he said.