News / USA

    Obama: Boston Bombings an 'Act of Terrorism'

    President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, about the Boston Marathon explosions.
    President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, about the Boston Marathon explosions.
    President Barack Obama says Monday's bombings along the route of the Boston Marathon were an act of terrorism.  Officials say three people died in the explosions and more than 170 were injured. 

    Obama told reporters at the White House the bomb attack in Boston was a "heinous and cowardly act" and for the first time described it as an act of terrorism.

    "Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror," the president said. "What we do not 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 is what we do not yet know and clearly we are at the beginning of our investigation."

    Watch related video report by VOA's Richard Green
    Comprehensive Investigation Underway Into Boston Marathon Bombingi
    X
    April 16, 2013 5:22 PM
    U.S. federal investigators have launched a massive investigation into Monday's twin bombing at the Boston Marathon that left at least three people dead and more than 140 others injured. VOA's Richard Green has the latest on the investigation, and the global reaction to the tragedy.

    Investigation

    Meanwhile in Boston, federal, state and local investigators briefed reporters at a hotel not far from the scene of the bombings that rocked the city Monday.

    The FBI agent in charge of the investigation, Rick Deslauriers, says officials have received “voluminous tips” in connection with the bombings and investigators will follow the trail of evidence wherever it leads.

    “This will be a worldwide investigation.  We will go where the evidence and the leads take us," Deslauriers announced. "We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice.”

    FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers, far right, speaks as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, left, and Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, center, listen during a news conference in Boston, April 16, 2013.FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers, far right, speaks as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, left, and Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, center, listen during a news conference in Boston, April 16, 2013.
    x
    FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers, far right, speaks as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, left, and Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, center, listen during a news conference in Boston, April 16, 2013.
    FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers, far right, speaks as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, left, and Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, center, listen during a news conference in Boston, April 16, 2013.
    The FBI as well as state and local authorities continue to interview witnesses and conduct forensic analysis of the crime scene, which was at the finish line for the Boston Marathon, which draws elite runners from around the world.

    Investigators are asking the public to come forward with video or still photographs they may have taken around the time of the bombings as they search for clues.

    Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says investigators are already sifting through numerous video surveillance tapes from businesses in the area.

    “It is our intention to go through every frame of every video that we have to determine exactly who was in the area.  This is probably one of the most well photographed areas in the country yesterday,” remarked Davis.

    Responsibility

    Deadly bombings in the United States

    • April 15, 2013: Twin blasts at the Boston Marathon kill at least 3, injure more than 140
    • September 11, 2001: Hijacked jets crash into World Trade Center, Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field killing nearly 3,000
    • July 27, 1996: Atlanta Summer Olympics bombing kills 2, injures more than 100
    • April 19, 1995: Car bomb at Oklahoma City federal building kills 168, injures more than 500
    • February 26, 1993: Van explosion in World Trade Center garage kills 6, injures more than 1,000
    • December 29, 1975: Bomb at New York's LaGuardia Airport kills 11, injures 75
    • September 16, 1920: Bombing in New York's Wall Street area kills 40, injures hundreds
    Officials say no one has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack.  FBI agent DesLauriers would not comment on reports that police have questioned one man in connection with the case and searched a home in the nearby suburb of Revere.

    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said an earlier report that unexploded devices had been found was incorrect.  He said the only explosives found were the two that went off.

    Patrick urged Bostonians to cooperate with law enforcement authorities.

    “Everyone should expect continued, heightened police presence and everyone should continue to personally be vigilant,” he said.

    Patrick said an interfaith prayer service is being organized for Wednesday in Boston in the wake of the tragedy.

    Longtime Boston Mayor Tom Menino also said the tragedy will bring the city together.

    The Boston Marathon

    • 2013 more than 23,000 runners
    • Last year, runners from 92 countries took part
    • Race passes through eight cities and towns
    • Held on Patriots' Day, a state holiday in Massachusetts
    • Only U.S. marathon that maintains qualifying times
    • World's oldest still-running annual marathon, first held in 1897
    “This is a bad day for Boston, but I think if we pull together we will get through it.  We are a strong city and lot of people are willing to work together to make this a better place for all our people,” Menino reassured Bostonians.

    The marathon traditionally is held on what is known as Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts, a state holiday that commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution in Concord and Lexington in 1775.

    • In this image from video provided by WBZ-TV, spectators and runners run from what was described as twin explosions that shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
    • An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15, 2013.
    • Medical workers transport the injured across the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion, April 15, 2013.
    • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion, April 15, 2013.
    • One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated by two people in protective suits in the wake of two blasts in Boston April 15, 2013.
    • Runner John Ounao cries when he finds friends after several explosions rocked the finish of the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
    • A police officer clears Boylston Street following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
    • Medical workers aid a wounded woman at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following two explosions there, April 15, 2013.
    • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, April 15, 2013.
    • A woman is comforted by a man near a triage tent set up after explosions went off at the 117th Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
    • A Massachusetts state police officer guards the area containing the medical tent, rear, following an explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
    • An unidentified Boston Marathon runner leaves the course crying near Copley Square following an explosion, April 15, 2013.
    • A Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner following an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
    • Justine Franco of Montpelier, Vermont, holds up a sign near Copley Square looking for her missing friend, April, who was running in her first Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
    • President Barack Obama leaves the podium after speaking in the press briefing room at the White House, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

    Security has been boosted in several major U.S. cities, including New York and Washington, and condemnations of the Boston bombings have come from around the globe.

    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora