Boy, the mainstream is working feverishly to discredit all scenerios/reports that have anything of a conspiratorial nature to them. Offering proof? Nah, just saying they're "wrong".
EXPLOSIVES MADE OF PRESSURE COOKERS...
REPORT: Bombs Made to Look Like 'Discarded Property'...
2nd Victim ID'd: Spectator Went To Finish Line To Take Photo...
BIG SIS: No 'broader plot'...
Saudi man, 20, questioned at hospital...
Suburban apartment of Saudi student searched...
... Cops carry out 'several large bags'...
WHO IS THE MYSTERY MAN IN BLACK ON THE ROOF?
Bombs packed with ball bearings; 3 dead, 170+ wounded; 17 in critical...
'25, 30 people have at least one leg missing'...
Martin Richard, 8, among dead...
Elderly runner in viral photo finishes race...
HEROES: Kindness, humanity amid the carnage...
Witnesses recount war zone at marathon... ***WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT***
Runner: 'They must have had some sort of threat called in'...
Axelrod: Obama Thinks Bombings Could Be Related to 'Tax Day'...
Blasts put world's cities on alert...
NYC deploys 1,000 cops to top landmarks...
UK police review London Marathon security...
MINISTER: Will not be 'blown off course'...
Kentucky Derby, Indy 500 to up security...
BARNEY FRANK: 'No tax cut would have helped us deal with this'...
FBI SEEKS PHOTOS, VIDEOS...
UPDATE: No other bombs found...
2 men 'speaking Arabic' escorted off plane...
Muslim Brotherhood leader points to conspiracy behind bombing...
After Boston, Congressman Urges Caution on Immigration...
Lawmakers question 'trusted' status for Saudi travelers...
Who's behind the Boston Marathon bombings? 4 theories
More than half a day after the explosions in Boston, police still have few answers. That hasn't quieted the speculation.
Law enforcement officials don't have any official suspects in Monday's twin bombings at the finish line of the Boston marathon. And President Obama specifically urged people not to speculate on who's behind the attack, which killed at least three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and wounded more than 100 others, including several amputations.
"We still don't know who did this or why," Obama said Monday night. "People should not jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this. We will find out who did this. We will find out why they did this. Any individual or responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice."
Of course, plenty of people are speeding by the president's advice and jumping to conclusions, or at least jumping to theories. "We all wonder first who did this," says Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast. And, Tomasky says, a little careful speculation isn't such a bad thing. Here are four groups that are the focus of early (and — let us be clear — sometimes baseless) finger-pointing in the Boston attack:
1. Islamist jihadists
This theory was inevitable in the worst attack on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and it gained some initial credence from a New York Post report that a 20-year-old Saudi national had been picked up as a "person of interest." Police quickly threw cold water on that report, but then Boston TV station WABC reported that police are "searching for a darker skinned or black male with a black backpack and black sweatshirt, possibly foreign national from the accent of the individual."
Another anonymous law enforcement official "notes that the manner of the attack suggests it may have been Al Qaeda inspired — if not Al Qaeda directed," says Christopher Dickey at The Daily Beast. That's because the construction of the bombs — gunpowder with ball-bearings and other shrapnel to maximize the damage — is similar to a bomb recipe shared by Al Qaeda "on its internet manuals for terrorist attacks."
Of course, not everyone is convinced. "Horrific as this obviously was, it doesn't seem big enough" for an attack by Arab terrorists, says The Daily Beast's Tomasky. "Everything we know about their m.o. — the 1993 WTC bombing, the 2000 LAX plot, and 9-11 — suggests that they aim bigger."
2. Right-wing militia types
This theory, too, was inevitable. And most proponents point to the date — Patriots' Day — as a clue. Residents of Massachusetts and Maine celebrate Patriots' Day by taking the day off of work and re-enacting the first battles of the American Revolution, says Sommer Mathis at The Atlantic Cities. "But in recent years, Second Amendment activists and anti-government modern-day militia members have tried to co-opt the holiday, which also roughly marks the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing."
It's also "wise in these cases to remember that the 1995 bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City and the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 were carried out by Americans who espoused extreme right-wing causes," says The Daily Beast's Dickey.
There's also the fact that the Boston Marathon fell on tax day this year, and the last mile of the race "was dedicated to Newtown victims," says Tomasky.
"But man you would have to be a really 100 percent out-there sicko to think that this was how you wanted to make a political statement about gun rights. I think there are dangerous extremists among that group, but I don't think even they would do or approve of doing something like this." [Daily Beast]
3. The government
"False flag" attack proponents wasted no time blaming the government for staging the Boston explosions to achieve their own ends, says Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon. First out of the gate was Alex Jones, who tweeted: "Our hearts go out to those that are hurt or killed #Boston marathon – but this thing stinks to high heaven #falseflag."
Then "Dan Bidondi, a 'reporter/analyist' (sic) for Alex Jones's InfoWars, managed to ask Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick the very first question in a nationally televised press conference," notes Slate's David Weigel:
Why were the loud speakers telling people in the audience to be calm moments before the bombs went off? Is this another false flag staged attack to take our civil liberties and promote homeland security while sticking their hands down our pants on the streets? [Via Slate]"Patrick, looking on with a mixture of rage and pity, said 'no,' surely aware that he couldn't halt this guy's incipient Internet fame," says Weigel. But the inevitable Boston marathon "truthers" will have a hard time with this conspiracy theory. There were too many cameras and witnesses to "concoct a really compelling conspiracy theory," and the real-time fact-checking on Twitter has decimated the bad information that conspiracies need to thrive. For example, those "loud speakers" urging calm never happened.
4. A criminally insane lone wolf
There's also the possibility that this attack was perpetrated by some "local nutcase," says Tomasky at The Daily Beast. "I guess I am right now leaning in that least conspiratorial direction." Unfortunately, in our "open and free society," people can cause massive destruction with a few well-placed bombs. There's a decent chance the Boston marathon attackers were "motivated by simple revenge of some kind, or by nothing but the disease in someone's brain."
Other stories from this section:
The Boston bombing: Fact and fiction
When he heard about the bombings in Boston. David Gomez, a former Senior Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge for Counter-terrorism and Intelligence at the FBI's Seattle Field Office, began to tweet. (He's @allthingshls). For years, he was one of the bureau's top CT agents and criminal profilers, and so he knows his brief. I asked Gomez to answer a few questions about how the FBI will move forward with what surely will prove to be a complex investigation.
Q: What's the FBI's role now, and why was it so quick to take control of the investigation?
A: "The FBI investigates bombings. And a bombing is automatically assumed to be a terrorism event. This was true prior to 9/11, but after, it became clear in the law, and by presidential directive that we were the lead agency in a terrorism event. A lot of what's going on right now is, basically, working with the city and knowing that since we're going to be late to the scene — the police have first response and emergency response — to figure out who is going to take custody of the evidence and what labs are going to process it."
Q: The Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Field Office in Boston, Rick DesLauriers, referred to this as a "potential terrorism" event. Why use the word potential?
A: "I wonder if that was directed from our headquarters, or maybe from the White House, because I noticed that the president didn't use the term. Look, to the people on the ground, our guys, it's a criminal investigation. They're not collecting evidence to make a terrorism case. They're collecting evidence to prove a bombing. Absent a motive or claim of responsibility, it's just a bombing. But after 9/11, there's a presumption in law that a bombing is a terrorist attack."
Q: How is a case like this going to be organized internally?
A: "You're going to be getting so many tips coming in, that you have to essentially bifurcate it. Some of our people will go through all the forensics evidence. Others will look at the local intelligence picture, to figure out which groups there are and what we know about them. Then you have a team working all the data dumps we're going to be getting. And then you've got to find a team to work through all of the tips, most of which are going to be crap, but you can't ignore them because you might find a nugget. Every FBI field office in the country is going to have people working on this."
Q: I was reading on Twitter that it would be easy for the FBI to figure out who made a call to remotely detonate a bomb if it were triggered by radio frequencies. Is that true?
A: "Would it be easy to get the data? Yes. You'd get call records from towers around the area for an hour or two before the attacks, or whatever period of time. But analyzing it is really difficult; you might get 12,000 different numbers."
Q: So it's not as easy as it looks on TV?
A: "These things take a lot of time."
Q: Why is there so much debate about the word "terrorism?" And I was wondering: If a guy goes into a school and murders 20 children to make a point, why is that any different than what happened today?
A: "There is a difference between public perception and what the professionals think. To me, terrorism has always been about the messaging, and not about the event. A guy blows up his neighbor's house; it's a bombing but it's not terrorism. The Weathermen blew up a bathroom in the Capitol to send a message that no place was safe and we're gonna take over the world. That's terrorism. Tragedy is different than terrorism. A terrifying traffic event is not the same thing as terrorism."
Q: But the U.S. Attorney will make the decision about what to call it?
A: "Yes. And you can bet they're sitting in there, side by side, with the team."
Q: Is there any difference between a domestic terrorism investigation and one that involves foreign groups?
A: "After 9/11, for domestic terrorism investigations, the FBI adopted a lot of rules that you have to follow. If the crime is though to have been domestic as opposed to a transnational group, constitutional issues come into play. But really, the issue of 'terrorism' only comes out in the charging. Right now, the focus is on proving the bombing, figuring out who was involved, looking at the story the forensic evidence tells us."
- Last Updated: 11:50 AM, April 16, 2013
- Posted: 10:29 AM, April 16, 2013
REVERE, Mass. — A roommate of the man questioned in connection to yesterday’s Boston Marathon bombing described the Saudi national as “a good boy,” incapable of such a monstrous attack.
Investigators early last night converged on a fifth-floor apartment where the potential suspect lives with two roommates.
Mohammed Badawood, 20, described the potential suspect as “quiet and clean” and said he last saw him two days ago. Badawood told The Post he moved into the apartment about five months ago.
“He’s a good boy,” Badawood said of the potential suspect today. “I think he couldn’t do that.”
Officials showed up at the Revere apartment at about 5:30 p.m. yesterday in unmarked vehicles, a resident of the building said.
About an hour later, more vehicles, carrying agents of the FBI, Homeland Security and ATF also descended on the site, along with firefighters and a bomb squad.
Badawood said officials were searching his apartment when he arrived home last night at around 7.
Badawood said nothing was taken from the home and that officials told him the Saudi national was injured in the blast.
However, officials were later seen carrying bags out of the apartment complex. It is unclear if those items came from that apartment.
Last night, Revere fire officials said they were called out to support bomb-squad officers as part of an investigation of a “person of interest” in the marathon attack.
By midnight, most of the authorities had left the complex, which sits on a piece of oceanfront property in the seaside city.
Investigators were looking for anything that might have been used set to off the devices, including a remote control, sources said.
Marcus Worthington, 24, a law student who lives in a neighboring building, said an ATF official told him investigators were responding to a tip about one of the apartments.
"He said that they were investigating a tip about a dangerous device in one of the apartments,” he said.
“I did ask him if it was a bomb or something, but he wouldn't answer."
Yesterday, police took the 20-year-old Saudi national into custody near the scene of yesterday’s horrific Boston Marathon bomb attack, law-enforcement sources told The Post.
The potential suspect was questioned by the FBI and local police at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he was under heavy guard while being treated for shrapnel injuries to his leg.
He had suffered shrapnel wounds to the back of a leg but was expected to survive those injuries, a source said.
At the hospital, investigators seized the man’s clothes to examine whether they held any evidence that he was behind the attack. The law-enforcement sources also told The Post that the man was not free to leave the medical center.
As of last night, investigators had not yet directly asked the man whether he had set off the bombs. But they had asked him general questions, such as what he was doing in the area.
The potential suspect told police he had dinner Sunday night near Boston’s Prudential Center, about half a mile from the blast site, the sources said.
He also said that he went to the Copley Square area yesterday to witness the finish of the race.
The sources said that, after the man was grabbed by police, he smelled of gunpowder and declared, “I thought there would be a second bomb.”
He also asked: “Did anyone die?”
The twin blasts injured 176 people — 17 critically, authorities said today. The official death toll remained at three, but a law-enforcement source told The Post it could be as high as 12.
One witness told The New York Times there appeared to be 10 to 12 fatalities, including “women, children, finishers.” The wounds appeared to be “lower torso — the type of stuff you see from someone exploding out,” he said.
The dead included 8-year-old Martin Richard, whose mom and sister were hurt as they waited for his dad to finish running. Richard's father, Bill, is a community leader in Dorchester.
Bomb-detecting cops swept the finish-line area twice yesterday morning — once early and again an hour before the first runners crossed, Boston police commissioner Ed Davis said.
“Those two EOD sweeps did not turn up any evidence,” Davis said.
But the city’s top cop said there was no way to prevent an attacker from coming and going, and perhaps planting explosives after police had swept the area.
“People can come and go and bring items in and out,” Davis said.
Police have not found any other explosives beyond the two that went off.
Richard DesLauriers, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the agency’s Boston office, vowed to go to the “ends of the earth” to hunt down the terrorists.
“This will be a worldwide investigation,” he said. “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.”
Cops appealed to marathon spectators, asking for any still pictures or video shot in the neighborhood yesterday.
Even footage blocks away, well before or after the blast, might become crucial.
“Any information or photographs that happened — not just at that scene but anywhere in the immediate vicinity could be helpful to this investigation,” Davis said.
Additional reporting by David K. Li
FBI seeks images in Boston Marathon bomb inquiry
BOSTON (AP) -- Investigators appealed to the public Tuesday for amateur video and photos that might yield clues to the Boston Marathon bombing as the chief FBI agent in Boston vowed "we will go to the ends of the Earth" to find whoever carried out the deadly attack.
Two bombs blew up seconds apart Monday at the finish line of one of the world's most storied races, tearing off limbs and leaving the streets spattered with blood and strewn with broken glass. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded.
A doctor treating the wounded said one of the victims was maimed by what looked like ball bearings or BBs.
Federal investigators said no one had claimed responsibility for the bombings, which took place on one of the city's biggest civic holidays, Patriots Day. But the blasts raised the specter of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
President Barack Obama said the bombings were an act of terrorism, but investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international organization, domestic group or a "malevolent individual." He said, "the American people refuse to be terrorized."
On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called the bombings "a cruel act of terror" and said "a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned or carried out by a terror group, foreign or domestic."
Across the U.S., from Washington to Los Angeles, police tightened security, monitoring landmarks, government buildings, transit hubs and sporting events.
"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," said Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston.
He said investigators had received "voluminous tips" and were interviewing witnesses and analyzing the crime scene.
Gov. Deval Patrick said that contrary to earlier reports, no unexploded bombs were found. He said the only explosives were the ones that went off.
FBI agents searched a home in the suburb of Revere overnight. Authorities gave no details. But investigators were seen leaving a building there early Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag.
At a news conference, police and federal agents repeatedly appealed for any video, audio and photos taken by marathon spectators, even images that people might not think are significant.
"There has to be hundreds, if not thousands, of photos and videos" that might help investigators, state police Col. Timothy Alben said.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said investigators also gathered a large number of surveillance tapes from businesses in the area and intend to go through the video frame by frame.
"This is probably one of the most photographed areas in the country yesterday," he said.
Investigators refused to give any specifics on the bombs and say, for example, where they might have been hidden or whether they were packed with shrapnel for maximum carnage, as is often the case in terror bombings overseas.
But Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said he saw an X-ray of one victim's leg that had "what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it - similar in the appearance to BBs."
The fiery explosions took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending columns of smoke rising over the street.
Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., had just finished the race when he heard the explosions.
"I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor," he said. "We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated."
At least 17 people were critically injured, police said. At least eight children were being treated at hospitals. In addition to losing limbs, victims suffered broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services, said: "This is something I've never seen in my 25 years here ... this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war."
Eight-year-old Martin Richard was among the dead, said U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a family friend. The boy's mother, Denise, and 6-year-old sister, Jane, were badly injured. His brother and father were also watching the race but were not hurt.
A candle burned on the stoop of the family's single-family home in the city's Dorchester section Tuesday, and the word "Peace" was written in chalk on the front walk.
Neighbor Betty Delorey said Martin loved to climb the neighborhood trees, and hop the fence outside his home.
Tim Davey of Richmond, Va., was with his wife, Lisa, and children near a medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners when the injured began arriving. "They just started bringing people in with no limbs," he said.
"Most everybody was conscious," Lisa Davey said. "They were very dazed."
The Boston Marathon is one of the world's oldest and most prestigious races and about 23,000 runners participated. Most of them had crossed the finish line by the time the bombs exploded, but thousands more were still completing the course.
The attack may have been timed for maximum bloodshed: The four-hour mark is typically a crowded time near the finish line because of the slow-but-steady recreational runners completing the race and because of all the friends and relatives clustered around to cheer them on.
Davis, the police commissioner, said authorities had received "no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen" at the race. On Tuesday, he said that two security sweeps of the route had been conducted before the marathon.
The race winds up near Copley Square, not far from the landmark Prudential Center and the Boston Public Library. It is held on Patriots Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution, at Concord and Lexington in 1775.
Richard Barrett, the former U.N. coordinator for an al-Qaida and Taliban monitoring team who has also worked for British intelligence, said the relatively small size of the devices in Boston and the timing of the blasts suggest a domestic attack rather than an al-Qaida-inspired one.
"This happened on Patriots Day - it is also the day Americans are supposed to have their taxes in - and Boston is quite a symbolic city," said Barrett, now senior director at the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies.
The Pakistani Taliban, which has threatened attacks in the United States because of its support for the Pakistani government, on Tuesday denied any role in the bombings.
A woman who was a few feet from the second bomb, Brighid Wall, 35, of Duxbury, said that when it exploded, runners and spectators froze, unsure of what to do. Her husband threw their children to the ground, lay on top of them and another man lay on top of them and said, "Don't get up, don't get up."
After a minute or so without another explosion, Wall said, she and her family headed to a Starbucks and out the back door through an alley. Around them, the windows of the bars and restaurants were blown out.
She said she saw six to eight people bleeding profusely, including one man who was kneeling, dazed, with blood trickling down his head. Another person was on the ground covered in blood and not moving.
"My ears are zinging. Their ears are zinging," Wall said. "It was so forceful. It knocked us to the ground."
Associated Press writers Jay Lindsay, Steve LeBlanc, Bridget Murphy, Rodrique Ngowi and Meghan Barr in Boston; Julie Pace, Lara Jakes and Eileen Sullivan in Washington; Paisley Dodds in London and Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee contributed to this report.
Plane brought back to gate at Logan Airport
Posted: Apr 16, 2013 6:25 AM MDT
Updated: Apr 16, 2013 6:26 AM MDT
Boston Marathon bombing: Feds raid apartment, police seek rental van (+video)
Federal authorities late Monday removed several bags from an apartment in a nearby suburb. Police investigating the Boston Marathon bombing have also issued an alert for a rental van and for a hooded man who left the area before the blasts.
As of Tuesday morning, no persons or group had claimed credit for twin explosions at the finish line near Boston’s Copley Square. The Pakistani Taliban, a group that has threatened the United States in the past, denied participation, according to the Associated Press.
Law enforcement officials questioned an injured Saudi national at a local hospital, but news stories indicated that the individual appears to have no connection to the case. The Boston Globe reported that he was simply a frightened spectator who had tried to flee but was tackled and restrained by bystanders.
RECOMMENDED: Quiz: How much do you know about terrorism?
Rep. William Keating (D) of Massachusetts, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, told a local CBS reporter that the two bombs at the finish line, which exploded seconds apart, had been stashed in trash receptacles and were clearly a “coordinated attack.” Authorities have discovered two other unexploded devices, he told Boston’s WBZ News.
Other reports said no unexploded devices had been found. A reported fire at Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library turned out to be the result of an electrical problem and was unrelated to the marathon bombs, according to Boston police.
NBC News reported that the explosive devices near the finish line had been packed with ball bearings to enhance their lethality. Doctors treating some of the 126 wounded at local hospitals said many had been hurt by metal shrapnel, though they added it was unclear whether the metal in question had simply been part of the environment or was the result of a shredded trash receptacle.
Police have issued an alert for a rental van that may have tried to gain access to the finish line area and for a man in dark clothing and a hood seen leaving the scene shortly before the blast, reported NBC. Surveillance video shows a hooded figure carrying two backpacks at about that time.
Among the dead is 8-year-old Martin Richard, whose father was running in the race. The boy's mother and sister were also gravely injured, according to a Boston Globe report. The family had gathered at the finish line for cheers and celebrations.
Although President Obama did not use the word “terrorism” in remarks to the nation Monday evening, other US officials made it clear that the bombing is being treated as a terrorist attack. That would make it the first such strike on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001, and a deadly reminder that it is impossible to armor all national activities against a terrorist threat.
One thing is clear: The bomber or bombers were not highly skilled. The explosive devices were relatively crude compared with those produced overseas by Al Qaeda or other radical Islamist terrorist groups, RAND Corp. terror expert Brian Jenkins told Los Angeles television. They were much smaller than the powerful truck bomb that Timothy McVeigh used to devastate the federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995.
The fact that the target was an event of great significance to Boston but not particularly significant to the wider world could indicate that the bomber was a local or at least a native of the United States. The explosions occurred on April 15, tax day, which could be a further indication of a domestic connection.
But the bombs were not directed against a government building or institution, which is often a hallmark of disaffected, lone-wolf domestic terrorists, noted some terrorism analysts. And the style of the attack, in which one explosion was closely followed by another, mimics that used by numerous groups in the Middle East.
One government official told the Los Angeles Times that his guess would be “self-radicalized Islamic extremists from the area.”
Meanwhile, a large area of Back Bay Boston remained sealed off as an enormous outdoor crime scene. Police were working their way through a mountain of bags and other debris left by the fleeing crowd in an effort to ensure that no further explosives will detonate. Cities across the US tightened security, just in case – New York City dispatched police critical response teams to guard sensitive sights, while in Washington the Secret Service expanded the security perimeter around the White House.
In London, authorities were reviewing security plans for Sunday’s London Marathon, the next such major international race.
RECOMMENDED: Quiz: How much do you know about terrorism?
- Last Updated: 7:20 AM, April 16, 2013
- Posted: 1:48 AM, April 16, 2013
NYPD cops yesterday flooded city streets, landmarks and transit hubs — while scrutinizing live video feeds at key spots for suspicious activity — in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.
“This changes everything here,’’ one grim-faced source told The Post of yesterday’s terror attack.
“Everyone’s on high alert. Our marathon was canceled in November. Who knows if that changed someone’s plans [to attack in Boston instead of New York]?’’
Seventh Avenue in Times Square looked like an NYPD parking lot, as blue-and-white patrol cars lined the streets and officers toted AR-15 rifles, which were commonly seen after the 9/11 attacks.
Mayor Bloomberg ordered the NYPD to mobilize its entire 1,000-member counterterrorism squad “to protect our city.”
Gov. Cuomo put the entire state on “heightened alert” and sent National Guard vehicles and soldiers to Boston to aid in its recovery efforts.
The Port Authority said it had voluntarily “heightened” security restrictions at and around airports and the World Trade Center.
Special attention was being paid to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Columbus Circle and the Bank of America Tower in Midtown because bombs in Boston were found near those branches, law-enforcement sources told the Post.
Federal authorities told The Post that they viewed the Boston bombing as “a more successful version of the Times Square” attack in 2010.
In that attack, a homemade car bomb ended up failing to detonate — but if it had, it could have killed or injured hundreds, sources have said.
Tamara Beckwith/NY Post
The feds recalled dozens of agents who were on leave or vacation to boost the region’s counterterrorism units.
Bomb-sniffing dogs were out in full force at Penn Station, making some travelers and vendors nervous.
“I came here and saw all the canines. It’s a little bit scary when something like this happens,” said Elin Sordsdhal, 49, who was headed to Boston by train. “That’s exactly what the terrorists want.”
The MTA said police patrols and baggage inspections were being increased on all subway lines, the LIRR and Metro-North.
“We’ll be paying additional attention to the subway system until we more fully understand what happened in Boston and the potential threat that exists,” an MTA spokesman told The Post.
Mahbub Kamal, 51, of Queens who sells phone cards at a Port Authority stand, said, “I have seen more cops today. Two of them had assault rifles.’’
Another vendor, Paul Alves, 24, of the Upper East Side, added, “I haven’t seen cops with assault weapons here for 10 years. I’m a little scared.
“But I just gotta do my job. Life goes on. Whatever happens happens.”
One jittery commuter tweeted last night: “The presence of the NYPD in the subways today is overwhelming and appreciated.’’
Additional reporting by Larry Celona, Jamie Schram and Wilson Dizard
Person briefed on probe: bombs in pressure cookers
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The explosives used in the deadly Boston Marathon bombing were contained in 6-liter pressure cookers and hidden in black duffel bags on the ground, a person briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
One of the explosives contained shards of metal and ball bearings, and another contained nails, the person said.
A second person briefed on the investigation confirmed that at least one of the explosives was made out of a pressure cooker. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
Two bombs blew up seconds apart Monday at the finish line of one of the world's most storied races, tearing off victims' limbs and leaving the streets spattered with blood and strewn with broken glass. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded.
President Barack Obama said called the explosions a terrorist attack and said law enforcement and intelligence officials were trying to determine who was responsible. No one has claimed responsibility for the bombings.
These types of pressure cooker explosives have been used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, according to a July 2010 joint FBI and Homeland Security intelligence report. One of the three devices used in the May 2010 Times Square attempted bombing was a pressure cooker, the intelligence report said.
"Placed carefully, such devices provide little or no indication of an impending attack," the report said.
The Pakistani Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the 2010 attempt in Times Square, has denied any role in the Boston Marathon attack.
Law enforcement has not yet determined what was used to set off the explosives. Typically, these bombs have an initiator, switch and explosive charge, according to a 2004 warning from the Homeland Security Department about these types of explosives.
"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," said Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston.
Investigators in Boston are combing surveillance tapes and pictures from Monday.
Associated Press writers Lara Jakes, Kimberly Dozier and Alicia Caldwell contributed to this report.
Napolitano: No indication Boston was part of 'broader plot,' but still cautious
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday that there is no sign the explosions in Boston were part of a "broader plot," but that her department is still being cautious.
"While there is no current indication to suggest that the events in Boston are indicative of a broader plot," she said in a written statement.
"Out of an abundance of caution," she added, "DHS continues to keep in place enhanced security measures at transportation hubs, utilizing measures both seen and unseen."
Earlier Tuesday, Napolitano was among the senior administration officials who briefed President Obama on the response to the incident.
Medford Native Killed In Boston Marathon Bombings
April 16, 2013 2:40 PM
Krystle Campbell was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings. (Credit: Facebook)
BOSTON (AP) — A 29-year-old restaurant manager has been identified as one of three people killed in the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Her father says Krystle Campbell, of Medford, Mass., had gone with her best friend to take a picture of the friend’s boyfriend crossing the finish line on Monday afternoon.
William Campbell says his daughter, who worked at a restaurant in nearby Arlington, was “very caring, very loving person, and was daddy’s little girl.” He says the loss has devastated the family.
He says the friend was seriously injured in the explosion.
An 8-year-old, Martin Richard of Boston, also died. He was at the finish line watching the race with his family.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
Posted By Josh Rogin Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 4:02 PM
The Saudi national injured during the bomb attacks at the Boston Marathon Monday has been cleared and is no longer even a person of interest, intelligence officials told lawmakers Tuesday.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper briefed members of the Senate Intelligence Committee behind closed doors in a pre-scheduled hearing that was supposed to focus on the budget, but Clapper began with an update of the bombings. Ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) emerged from the briefing and said he was told the 22-year old Saudi student who was injured during the bombings and remains in the care of a local hospital was no longer a focus of investigators.
"He was never categorized as a suspect; he was a person of interest. My understanding is that he totally cooperated and that he is no longer a person of interest," Chambliss said.
Asked if there were any other persons of interest at this time, Chambliss said, "Not that I know of."
Details about the bombings are still scarce and the investigation hasn't yielded any firm conclusions about the perpetrator or the origin of the explosive devices yet, according to Chambliss.
"It's a very fluid investigation, the FBI is in the lead, and I personally know the special agent in charge. He is one of the best, and they are doing a very good job of moving the investigation forward," he said. "We don't know at this point whether it was a home grown terrorist, whether it was an isolated incident or part of an overall scheme, whether it was a domestic terrorist or a foreign terrorist."
Chambliss did say that security around the country would have to change for large public events, including greater involvement by the federal government.
"This was a soft target. It was not a target that was able to be totally protected," he said. "This particular incident is going to cause the administration and Congress to evaluate our overall security programs around the country, particularly for major events. We can't leave it just to the communities that host these events to provide the security."
UPDATE: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said Tuesday afternoon that there had been no advance intelligence information before the attacks. Read about that here.