The White House does not yet know who planned and carried out explosions at the Boston Marathon, but is handling the incident as “an act of terror,” a White House official said on Monday.
“Any event with multiple explosive devices — as this appears to be — is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror,” the official told Reuters.
“However, we don't yet know who carried out this attack, and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign or domestic,” the official said.
Twin bombs ripped through the end of the Boston Marathon, near the finish line, injuring at least 141 people and killing three, including an 8-year-old boy. Hundreds of spectators fled the scene while others helped carry victims to help.
President Barack Obama, who was careful not to use the word “terrorism,” said he had directed the “full resources of the federal government” to help protect the people of Boston following twin bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Obama assured the nation that although “we do not know who did it or why,” authorities would get to the bottom of the attack.
Speaking from the White House Monday evening, Obama reacted to the tragic attack in Boston by vowing, “We will find out who did this, and we will hold them accountable.”
Obama said federal resources also will help increase security across the United States and aid the investigation into who was behind the attack.
“The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight, and Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss,” the president said.
Obama added that he spoke with FBI Director Robert Mueller and Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, as well as Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino about the bombings. He said all the necessary federal resources are being mobilized to respond.
Obama praised the first responders who reacted to the incident, saying police, firefighters, and national guard members “responded heroically and continue to do so as we speak.” He added, “We salute all those who responded and assisted so quickly and so professionally.”
The president described Boston as “a tough and resilient town.” He said he is “supremely confident” that Bostonians will rally together in the aftermath of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, adding that “the American people will be with them every step of the way.”
Obama insisted the attack will not go unanswered.
“Make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this. We will find out who did this, and why they did this.
“Any responsible individuals, and responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice,” he pledged.
Noting that today is a holiday, Patriots’ Day, in Massachusetts, Obama praised the spirit of independence celebrated. “It’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition.”
“I am supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward,” the president said.
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