News / USA

Obama: We Have Seen Character of Nation Once More

President Barack Obama speaks about the Boston Marathon bombing, in the Brady Press Briefing at the White House in Washington, April 19, 2013.
President Barack Obama speaks about the Boston Marathon bombing, in the Brady Press Briefing at the White House in Washington, April 19, 2013.
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— After the dramatic conclusion to the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, President Barack Obama has praised the work of the Boston police and the FBI. Obama pledged a thorough and fair ongoing investigation.

Obama spoke after a long day monitoring developments in Boston, and the final dramatic conclusion in which 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taken into custody after a standoff with police.

Tsarnaev was captured alive after police surrounded a boat he was hiding in, in the backyard of a Watertown, Massachusetts, home.

His older brother, Tamerlan, died of wounds sustained during a shootout with police earlier in Watertown, Massachusetts.  

Obama said the nation is in debt to the people of Boston and Massachusetts, who he said responded to a vicious attack with resolve and determination.

While an important chapter in the tragedy has been closed, he said many questions remain.

"Why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and country resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks and did they receive any help? The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers. The wounded, some of whom now have to learn how to stand, and walk and live again, deserve answers," said the president.

Obama sent his condolences to the family of a MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] police officer killed by the bombing suspects.

He said he has instructed the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and intelligence community to continue to deploy all the necessary resources to support the investigation, collect intelligence and protect Americans.

"One thing we do know is that whatever hateful agenda drove these men to such heinous acts will not, cannot prevail.  Whatever they thought they could achieve they have already failed.  They failed because the people of Boston refused to be intimidated.  They failed because as Americans we refuse to be terrorized."

Obama said there should be "no rush to judgment" about the motivations of the bombing suspects, or about "entire groups of people."

He did not speak about his conversation earlier with Russia's President Vladimir Putin. A White House statement said Putin expressed condolences on behalf of the Russian people for the tragic loss of life in Boston.  
It said Obama praised close cooperation that the United States received from Russia on counter-terrorism, including in the wake of the Boston attack." There were no details of what that cooperation was.

In Boston, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick paid tribute to police and the public.

Because of that extraordinary collaboration and cooperation by all of these law enforcement resources and assets and more to the point people, professionals who brought their "A" game, we have a suspect in custody tonight," said Patrick.

The Tsarnaev brothers were legal U.S. residents of ethnic Chechen background, in the United States since 2002. They were identified in photos and video released Thursday by the FBI.  

The Tsarnaev family came to the Russian region of Dagestan in 2001 from the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan.

News emerged late Friday that the FBI interviewed one of the suspects, the older Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was killed, two years ago about his ties to extremist groups.

The capture of the younger Tsarnaev brother provides investigators with the opportunity to learn more about the planning behind the Boston Marathon bombers.  

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is likely to be indicted by a grand jury within 30 days, and will face a criminal trial. Under U.S. law, he will be afforded a defense attorney.

Three people - including an eight-year-old boy, a 29-year-old Boston woman, and a 26-year-old Chinese graduate student - were killed when explosions ripped through the crowd near the finish line of the Boston Marathon last Monday.

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