Obama says Boston bombings an act of terrorism

The president urged anyone with information relating to the events to contact authorities.

The president urged anyone with information relating to the events to contact authorities. (4/16/13)

WASHINGTON - (AP) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday the deadly Boston Marathon bombings were an act of terrorism but investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international or domestic organization, or perhaps by a "malevolent individual."

In his second public statement in less than 24 hours since the explosions, the president said, "Clearly we are at the beginning of our investigation." He urged anyone with information relating to the events to contact authorities.

Individuals briefed on the probe said the two bombs were made up of pressure cookers, one packed with ball bearings and the other with shards of metal, presumably to inflict maximum injuries.

Obama said investigators "don't have a sense of motivation yet" as they begin to evaluate the attack in which three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded.

Despite the loss of life and limb, Obama declared, "The American people refuse to be terrorized."

As he had on Monday, he said those responsible for the attacks would be brought to justice.

The president had avoided labeling the incident a terrorist attack when he stood at the same White House lectern shortly after the explosions. Members of Congress quickly concluded on Monday afternoon that's what it was, and White House officials said the FBI was investigating the attack as a terror incident.

The administration's public assessment began to shift when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress in a morning appearance that the attacks were "a cruel act of terror."

Appearing on television a short while afterward, Obama said the events in Boston were a "heinous cowardly act, and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism."

"Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror. What we don't yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why. Whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual. That's what we don't yet know."

The president praised those who had come to the aid of the injured.

"If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that's it: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid," he said.

Obama stepped to the microphone after receiving a briefing at the White House from Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other top aides.

The bombs exploded on Monday afternoon near the finish line of the famed Boston Marathon, an annual 26 mile race through the neighborhoods of the city.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

The fire broke out around 2 a.m. Sunday 1 3 injured in early morning Central Islip house fire
The Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj stands at 2 Journalists honor 1st Amendment as Trump hosts rally
3 Woman accused of kicking officers during arrest
Dr. Melinda Edwards taught and inspired the students 4 Former students surprise Baldwin H.S. chorus teacher
Demonstrators sit on the ground along Pennsylvania Ave. 5 Thousands march across US to protest Trump climate policies

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE