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FBI: Help us ID Boston bomb suspects After three days of poring over photos and video, investigators appealed to the public to help them identify two men now considered suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.
The men were photographed walking down Boylston Street, one behind the other, near the finish line of Monday's race.
Suspect 1 was seen wearing a light-colored, collarless shirt underneath a dark-colored jacket and wearing a dark baseball cap.
The man identified as Suspect 2 was seen setting down a backpack at the site of the second explosion "within minutes" of the blasts that killed three people and wounded nearly 180, said Special Agent Rick DesLauriers, the head of the FBI's Boston office. He was wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt, a black jacket and a white baseball cap turned backward. - Other footage, still unreleased, shows that the two suspects stayed at the scene to watch the carnage unfold, a federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN's Susan Candiotti.
"When the bombs blow up, when most people are running away and victims were lying on the ground, the two suspects walk away pretty casually," said the official, who has seen the unreleased video. "They acted differently than everyone else."
While video of at least one suspect planting the bomb exists, the FBI had chosen not to release it, according to the official. One reason, according to the official, is that were the media to repeatedly show the suspects leaving the bomb, it might cause some people to overreact if they came into contact with them. (CNN)
Parents of Boston Marathon bombing suspects say their children were framed A complicated portrait of the two Tsarnaev brothers is coming into view. Again and again, people who knew them use words like "normal" and even "outgoing" -- and say they never hinted at extremism. NBC's Ann Curry reports on two young men who seemed to disappear in the crowd--until this week.
The parents of two brothers police say planted bomb-filled backpacks in crowds watching the Boston Marathon and later engaged in a stunning firefight with police say their sons are being framed for the deadly blasts.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died in the shootout with police Thursday. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was captured by police Friday night after an intense manhunt that locked down Boston for nearly a day.
"You could kill me but I would never believe they had anything to do with this," the father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said in a telephone interview with NBC News from Dagestan's provincial capital, Makhachkala. "This is nonsense. It doesn’t add up." (MSNBC)
SAUDI REPORT: MICHELLE O VISITED 'PERSON OF INTEREST' ~ Jeddah newspaper says first lady saw Alharbi in hospital A Saudi Arabian newspaper is reporting that United States First Lady Michelle Obama visited in the hospital Saudi citizen Abdul Rahman Ali Issa Al-Salimi Alharbi, the young man who had been labeled a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The newspaper accompanied its report with an image of Obama, although the background was generic and it couldn’t be confirmed immediately that she was at the hospital where Alharbi was being treated at the time. He reportedly suffered injuries in the Boston bombing.
The newspaper’s Arabic-language report is being highlighted by Walid Shoebat, a former Muslim Brotherhood member who now is a peace activist.
“Okaz, the same prominent Saudi newspaper that published photos of Abdul Rahman Ali Issa Al-Salimi Alharbi in the hospital after the Boston Marathon bombings, is now reporting that the Saudi national was also visited by the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, during his hospital stay,” Shoebat reported. (World Net Daily)
The Mother Of The Boston Bombing Suspects Was Arrested For Shoplifting Last Year A woman believed to be the mother of Boston bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev was arrested last year for shoplifting at a Cambridge Lord & Taylor department store, according to a police briefing in the Natick Patch.
Here's the June 13, 2012 report from the Natick Police:
7:42 p.m.: Loss prevention from Lord & Taylor called to report they had detained a shoplifter. Zubeidat K. Tsarnaeva, 45, of 410 Norfolk St., Apt. 3, Cambridge, was arrested and charged with larceny over $250 (women's clothing valued at $1,624), and two counts of malicious/wanton damage/defacement to property. (Business Insider)
Tsarnaev brothers' mother: My sons are innocent, this is a setup Boston bombings suspects are 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who remains at large. His brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnayev, was killed after a police car chase. Their family originates from Russia's North Caucasus - but settled in the United States more than a decade ago. RT talks to the mother of the two suspects Zubeidat Tsarnaeva (Russia Today)
U.S. military to step up presence in Jordan in light of Syria civil war In a critical indication of growing U.S. military involvement in the civil war in Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the deployment of more American troops to Jordan.
Hagel announced the deployment, which was first reported on CNN, in a statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.
He said the troops will work alongside Jordanian forces to "improve readiness and prepare for a number of scenarios."
The troops, which will number up to 200, are from the headquarters of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, two Defense Department officials told CNN. (CNN)
USA: The Creator & Sustainer of Chechen Terrorism ~ Boston Terror: Don’t Let the Media Fool You … Again- Climb Up the Chain and Meet the Real Masterminds of Global Terror. Here we go again- Déjà vu. Out of the blue we have a ‘terror event,’ a couple of pop-terrorists, and a new buzz-word nation-Chechnya. There they go again: USA Media tales made-in-government: Muslims, terrorists, fanatics, freedom-haters … this time from another exotic-sounding land-Chechnya.
They are going to tell you about the new frontiers in the so-called Islamic Terror Cells: The Caucasus and Central Asia. They’ve been planning this for a long time. In fact, the plans were in motion as early as the mid-1990s. Since 2002, despite the gag orders and attacks, I have been talking about: Central Asia & the Caucasus. I have been talking about our operations-grooming our very own terrorists in that region. I have been talking about Chechnya. In fact, just recently, I talked and talked and talked about it on record:
Sibel Edmonds on Operation Gladio Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V.
The government and its media will give you the tales. They will give you the roller-coaster-like spins. They will not give you what you need to know. Two years ago, we, at Boiling Frogs Post, provided you with the following article-analysis. Please read it: with the recent home-made terror incident and the new media buzz-word ‘Chechnya’, you need to arm yourself with facts. (Boiling Frogs Post)
Watertown Hero David Henneberry Points Police to Bomb Suspect Watertown, Mass., resident David Henneberry is being labeled a hero after he apparently alerted police that he stumbled on a bloody body lying in his boat in the backyard of his home.
Police identified the bloody body as the alleged Boston Marathon bomber, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Henneberry did not return ABC News' request for a comment.
The chain of events that led to the discovery of the most wanted man in America began around 6 p.m., when Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick lifted the Boston lockdown and ordered the restart of mass transit.
RELATED: Boston Bomb Suspect Captured Alive in Backyard Boat
At approximately 7 p.m., Henneberry took advantage of the lifted lockdown and entered his backyard to walk his dog. Henneberry noticed something amiss with his prized boat, according to Henneberry's neighbor, George Pizzuto. (ABC)
CISPA permits police to do warrantless database searches ~ Amendment was shot down that would have required warrants before police could peruse shared information for any evidence of hundreds of different crimes. A controversial data-sharing bill being debated today in the U.S. House of Representatives authorizes federal agencies to conduct warrantless searches of information they obtain from e-mail and Internet providers.
Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, proposed a one-sentence amendment (PDF) that would have required the National Security Agency, the FBI, Homeland Security, and other agencies to secure a "warrant obtained in accordance with the Fourth Amendment" before searching a database for evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Grayson complained this morning on Twitter that House Republicans "wouldn't even allow debate on requiring a warrant before a search."
CISPA is controversial because it overrules all existing federal and state laws by saying "notwithstanding any other provision of law," including privacy policies and wiretap laws, companies may share cybersecurity-related information "with any other entity, including the federal government." It would not, however, require them to do so.
That language has alarmed dozens of advocacy groups, including the American Library Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Reporters Without Borders, which sent a letter (PDF) to Congress last month opposing CISPA. It says: "CISPA's information-sharing regime allows the transfer of vast amounts of data, including sensitive information like Internet records or the content of e-mails, to any agency in the government." President Obama this week threatened to veto CISPA.
CISPA's advocates say it's needed to encourage companies to share more information with the federal government, and to a lesser extent among themselves, especially in the wake of an increasing number of successful and attempted intrusions. A "Myth v. Fact" paper (PDF) prepared by the House Intelligence committee says any claim that "this legislation creates a wide-ranging government surveillance program" is a myth. (CNet)
Guard Teams Help With Crises in Massachusetts, Texas Texas and Massachusetts National Guard members are continuing to provide support to civil and local authorities in the wake of explosions in Boston and in West, Texas, many of them bringing a specialized skill set to the efforts.
This morning, more than 20 members of the Texas Army National Guard’s 6th Civil Support Team were monitoring air quality for hazardous emissions at the site of a still-burning fertilizer plant.
Additional search and extraction, and command and control capabilities from the Texas National Guard Homeland Response Force remain on alert and ready to assist if needed, officials said.
Up to 15 people are feared dead, with at least 160 injured, according to Texas officials.
National Guard civil support teams work with local authorities and provide additional support during times of emergency or the suspected use of weapons of mass destruction. The teams can identify chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents and substances, assess current and projected consequences and advise on response measures.
Members of the Texas Guard's 6th Civil Support Team and the Massachusetts Guard's 1st Civil Support Team are providing technical expertise for authorities. (US Department of Defense)
Is Obama Covering Up Saudi Role In Boston Bombings? War On Terror: Could it be happening again? Could a Saudi terror cell be behind another major U.S. attack? And could the Saudi government be trying to sink the investigation?
After 9/11, the Saudi ambassador demanded the evacuation of dozens of Saudi nationals, including bin Laden kin, before the FBI could properly question them. He got his wish, even though 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis and others had ties to the plot.
Eerily similar high-level intervention is taking place in the Boston bombings case. Consider this timeline:
Jan. 14, 2013: President Obama meets in the Oval Office with Saudi minister of interior.
Jan. 16: Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano signs "arrangement" with Saudi minister bestowing "trusted traveler" status on Saudi student visitors, shortcutting normal security screening procedures.
April 15: Saudi college student Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi is seen near the Boston marathon finish line with two other Saudis. He's tackled after fleeing the scene of one of the bombings. Authorities question him. (Investors Business Daily)
'False-flag' meme goes mainstream on Boston Marathon bombings On September 11th, 2001, the US media began chanting “Bin Laden” in unison almost from the moment the attack was reported. The possibility that US government insiders had orchestrated the attack - in order to blame Muslims, launch wars on Muslim countries, and seize near-absolute power - was never mentioned.
Bin Laden's repeated statements that he deplored the 9/11 attacks, considered them un-Islamic, and suspected that American supporters of Israel were behind them failed to penetrate the corporate media bubble. When the FBI definitively stated that Bin Laden was “not wanted” for 9/11 because there was “no hard evidence” of his involvement, the media blacked out the story.
But after the Boston bombings of April 16th, 2013, even the corporate monopoly media could no longer ignore the possibility of a false-flag attack. Yahoo News asked “Who's behind the Boston Marathon bombings?” and offered 4 theories: (1) Islamic jihadists, (2) Right-wing militia types, (3) the government, and (4) a criminally-insane lone wolf.
Numbers (1), (2), and (4), of course, are the usual suspects. But including (3) “the government” on the suspects list is unprecedented for a mainstream news story reporting on a domestic terror incident. (Press TV)
Boston bombing: Guardsmen will continue police support In the aftermath of the deadly and devastating double-bomb blast that occurred on Monday, the Massachusetts National Guard continues to assist local and state authorities following the Patriot Day explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line, according to National Guard commanders during a Wednesday press briefing.
More than 400 Guardsmen who had been on duty to help law enforcement agencies keep the marathon’s route clear remain on duty to continue to assist local authorities. All of the Guardsmen are accounted for, and none were reported injured, Guard officials said.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families that have been affected by this tragedy,” said Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, the state adjutant general. “The National Guard can be relied upon for our diverse emergency response and rapid deployment capabilities during times of need in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” said Rice.
The 211th Military Police Battalion has been called upon to provide security. The Guard also is contributing transportation assets, including helicopters, commanders noted. (Examiner)
Boston Marathon bombings fuel conspiracy theories, speculation of false flag operations Within minutes of the fatal bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon, self-described "truthers" erupted worldwide across the Internet with conspiracy theories about the crime.
Their efforts to find sinister machinations in the tragedy seem, well, conspiratorial.
Maybe it was that guy supposedly spotted on the roof overlooking the marathoners' route, or disgruntled taxpayers, or the writers of the animated TV series "The Family Guy," or, of course, the federal government running another "false flag" operation to seize people's civil rights.
PHOTOS: 15 Boston Marathon bombing conspiracy theories (http://bit.ly/12nn6C8)
Front and center is conspiracy entrepreneur Alex Jones. An Austin, Texas-based writer, radio talk-show host and owner of the conspiracy site Infowars.com, he says the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre was a government plot. Within hours of the Boston explosions, Jones used a "falseflag" hashtag on Twitter to say: "Our hearts go out to those that are hurt or killed at the Boston marathon -- but this thing stinks to high heaven."
Another conspiracy writer attended Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's Tuesday morning press briefing in Boston to ask: "Is this another false-flag attack staged to take our civil liberties?" He was dismissed with a perfunctory "no."
A false flag, which was first a trick by 18th-century naval captains who'd hoist flags of other nations when approaching an enemy vessel, now is used to describe an attempt to hide the identity of the person or group responsible for an operation. (NBC)
Boston Marathon bombs have hallmarks of 'lone wolf' devices, experts say The devices used in the Boston Marathon attack Monday are typical of the "lone wolf:" the solo terrorist who builds a bomb on his own by following a widely available formula.
In this case, the formula seems very similar to one that al Qaeda has recommended to its supporters around the world as both crudely effective and difficult to trace. But it is also a recipe that has been adopted by extreme right-wing individuals in the United States.
The threat of the "lone wolf" alarms the intelligence community.
"This is what you worry about the most," a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN's Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger. "No trail, no intelligence." (CNN)
CNN SOURCE: Everyone Went Silent For 15 Minutes After We Screwed Up The Boston Marathon Report CNN suffered a public shaming after erroneously reporting Wednesday that an arrest had been made in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings.
According to a source at CNN, the network was the first to report that a suspect had been identified. Anchor John King sent in a report around 1 p.m. that a source "briefed" on the investigation had told King a positive identification had been made. CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist approved that report, according to the source.
According to the source, who was reviewing internal email logs, Fran Townsend was the first at the network to say that an arrest had been made.
"As I think everyone knows, we really f—ed up. No way around it," the source said.
The source said that the network's email network went quiet for a 15-minute period shortly after the retraction — "so people [were] either being more cautious or getting yelled at." (Business Insider)
Craft International Private Military Forces at Boston Marathon? There has been much discussion over the two individuals fitted with earpieces and military-esque gear spotted at the Boston Marathon, but as it turns out they may likely be employees of the Blackwater-style private military/security firm Craft International.
The two can be seen in the photo below with their hands up to their ears in what is later (second photo) confirmed to be a a wired communications device. Originally, it was thought that these men were likely some sort of military or special operations — specifically SEAL team members as indicated by an emblem on one of their black hats. After doing some digging, however, it becomes much more likely that these men are employees of Craft International — a private military/security firm similar in nature to Blackwater (Xe).
Here is the first image of the men cropped from the larger picture of the marathon: (Story Leak)
FBI cancels press conference amid conflicting reports Surveillance video from the Lord & Taylor store on Boylston Street is proving to be a vital break in the Marathon bombing case, but the FBI has canceled a press conference in a day riddled with conflicting reports about a suspect caught on camera but no arrest announced.
In another twist, City Council President Stephen Murphy told the Associated Press tonight that police "may be on the verge of arresting someone and that's good." But he backed off his statement to the AP, saying he "has not been briefed" and that his comments were based on media reports.
“I was made aware today by media sources that there was a video from Lord & Taylor that showed a suspect leaving a duffel bag,” Murphy told the Herald. "I was recounting that (to the AP)."
The Lord & Taylor store set up the cameras in the 1980s to combat thieves who would park on Boylston and do hit-and-run robberies.
Still, authorities from the FBI to Boston police denied any arrest, with BPD tweeting: "Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack." (Boston Herald)
Investigators Said to Have Video Showing Bomb Suspect Investigators have video of a possible suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, according to federal law enforcement officials.
The crucial images came from a store security camera near the April 15 bombing site, according to a federal law enforcement official briefed on the matter. Another person familiar with investigators’ work said that, as of early this afternoon, the suspect in the images hadn’t been identified. Both asked for anonymity to discuss the investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Boston police released statements that no arrest has been made.
“They are making progress,” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said in a telephone interview. “Nobody in custody.”
A bomb threat today at the the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston forced the postponement of a 5 p.m. news briefing on the investigation. While court employees were later allowed to return, the briefing hadn’t been rescheduled. (Bloomberg)
Blasts lead to deaths, injury after Boston Marathon At least three people are dead and 100 injured after two bomb blasts shook the site of the Boston Marathon finish line Monday afternoon, with a third, possibly related incident an hour and a half later, reported at Boston's John F. Kennedy Library.
Spectator video from the finish-line explosion shows marathon fans being pushed off of the Boylston Street sidewalk by the concussions, the smoke of the blasts blowing through the international flags lining the finish chute.
Medical treatment of bystanders' most severe injuries included amputations after what were thought to be low-angle explosions at near range.
The library incident has at various times been described by officials as an electrical fire and an explosion. As of Monday evening, officials could neither confirm nor deny the presence of any sort of explosive device at the library site. (The Baltimore Sun)
Boston attack underscores Guard training exercise's significance Just hours before multiple explosions rocked the Boston Marathon, a Wisconsin National Guard team stared down their own bomb scenario in a training event at Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wis.
The parallels were palpable. The training scenario and the day's events underscored the grim reality and significance of preparing for similar situations as the 54th Civil Support Team (CST) aided civilian law enforcement and emergency agencies in eliminating a notional bomb threat.
The CST, which provides support to state agencies at large-scale sporting events and other high-profile gatherings in Wisconsin, spent April 15 responding to a suspicious piece of luggage flagged by the Transportation Security Administration at the Madison airport. It was a situation for which the CST was well-equipped.
As the exercise unfolded, the Dane County Sheriff was alerted to the suspicious piece of luggage, which prompted a response from the law enforcement agency's explosive ordnance disposal team and ultimately a call to the CST, the National Guard's full-time response force for emergencies or terrorist events involving weapons of mass destruction, toxic chemicals, or natural disasters. (Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs)
Copley Square will remain 'locked down' Bay State residents can expect the massive security surge prompted by the marathon bombing to continue throughout the week, with Copley Square under lockdown, the Common converted into a National Guard staging area and a flood of law enforcement officials patrolling Boston — even as city officials urged residents to return to work as normal.
“The city of Boston will be open, but it will not be business as usual,” said Gov. Deval Patrick, later adding that life in the city is “not going to be easy, simple or regular.”
Patrick said the National Guard has secured a 15-block crime scene and is limiting access in the area, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken over the probe into who planted the explosives.
“There will be a heightened law enforcement presence. People should expect delays,” he said. (Boston Herald)
Defense Department Saves National Guard WMD Unit That Helped in Boston The U.S. Defense Department was poised as recently as last month to dismantle a National Guard crisis team that assisted in the emergency response to the bombings at Monday's Boston Marathon.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on March 29 informed lawmakers in writing of plans to dismantle the New York-based 24th National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, as well as a similar WMD unit housed in Florida, House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman Bill Young (R-Fla.) said on Tuesday. The units were to cease operations by late June, Hagel said in a letter that did not offer a reason for the decision.
Members of the New York team "responded to the Boston Marathon bombings," where twin blasts killed three people and wounded close to 200 near the end of the course, Young said.
The Pentagon move, now reversed, would have been at least the second attempt to eliminate the two teams as a cost-saving method. New York and Florida both have two of the full-time units that would provide assistance to civil authorities following a biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear incident. California also has two, while other U.S. states and territories are alloted one team. (Global Security Newswire)
Fox News: Authorities guarding man at local hospital The deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon that killed at least three and injured 176 is believed to be an act of terrorism, senior White House officials told Fox News.
Two explosions tore through the finish line of the world-famous race just before 3 p.m., going off simultaneously as throngs of onlookers watched runners complete the 26.2-mile trek. The timing of the blasts immediately sparked suspicions of a deliberate act.
"When multiple devices go off, that's an act of terrorism," a senior administration official told Fox News, just moments after President Obama delivered a statement to the nation and did not use the word "terror."
Authorities searched an apartment in the nearby Boston suburb of Revere as part of the investigation into the explosions. FoxNews.com saw federal, state and local law enforcement entering the building late Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
Sources confirmed to FoxNews.com that the apartment being searched in connection to the bombings is on the fifth floor of the building. (FOX)
Indisputable Torture (By The Editorial Board) A dozen years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an independent, nonpartisan panel’s examination of the interrogation and detention programs carried out in their aftermath by the Bush administration may seem to be musty old business. But the sweeping report issued on Tuesday by an 11-member task force convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group, provides a valuable, even necessary reckoning.
The work of the task force, led by two former congressmen — Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, who served in the Bush administration as under secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and James Jones, a Democrat, who was an ambassador to Mexico during the Clinton years — is informed by interviews with dozens of former American and foreign officials, as well as with former prisoners.
It is the fullest independent effort so far to assess the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and at the C.I.A.’s secret prisons. Those who sanctioned the use of brutal methods, like former Vice President Dick Cheney, will continue to defend their use. But the report’s authoritative conclusion that “the United States engaged in the practice of torture” is impossible to dismiss by a public that needs to know what was committed in the nation’s name. (New York Times)
Industry: Drones Could Have Helped Boston Marathon Bombing Responders ~ Monday's bombing has left at least three people dead Unmanned aircraft, or drones, could have been a boon to law enforcement and first responders in the aftermath of Monday's Boston Marathon bombing that has left at least three dead, according to the president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
"UAS could be an important tool in the tool kit for first responders in the event of an emergency," says Michael Toscano, president of the industry's largest organization. "Whether it is in response to a natural disaster or a tragedy like we saw in Boston, UAS can be quickly deployed to provide first responders with critical situational awareness in areas too dangerous or difficult for manned aircraft to reach."
Monday's bombing killed three people and injured dozens more. On the police scanner in the aftermath of the attack, first responders discussed grounding a helicopter because it needed to refuel. Multiple drones would theoretically solve that problem. (US News & World Report)
Inside Boston Marathon Bombing Press Conferences Here is inside footage from the Boston Marathon Bombing press conferences where Dan Bidondi asks the police commissioner and Massachusetts Governor Devel Patrick about bomb drills that coincided with the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Prison Planet)
Kerry meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister abruptly closed A meeting Secretary of State John Kerry held with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal was abruptly closed to press coverage Tuesday morning.
The State Department initially provided no reason for the change, which was announced just 15 minutes before the scheduled 10 A.M. session, but media reports have said that a Saudi national in the U.S. on a student visa is a "person of interest" to investigators probing the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday.
The person being investigated was badly injured in the attack, sources said.
"Apologies for short notice," the State Department's press office told reporters as it announced the change.
Later Tuesday, at the daily briefing for reporters, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the exclusion of the press from the meeting was due to Kerry's busy schedule.
"This was just a scheduling change on our part," Ventrell said.
That met with a skeptical reaction from journalists, who had been advised that the meeting would include a so-called "camera spray" at the top of the session.
"Are you really trying to say that this [meeting was moved from a] camera/photo op to being closed, for scheduling reasons? Is that seriously your answer: that because the secretary was tired after 10 days on the road and is going to the Hill tomorrow?" the Associated Press's Matt Lee asked. (Politico)
Let's hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American ~ There is a double standard: White terrorists are dealt with as lone wolves, Islamists are existential threats As we now move into the official Political Aftermath period of the Boston bombing — the period that will determine the long-term legislative fallout of the atrocity — the dynamics of privilege will undoubtedly influence the nation’s collective reaction to the attacks. That’s because privilege tends to determine: 1) which groups are — and are not — collectively denigrated or targeted for the unlawful actions of individuals; and 2) how big and politically game-changing the overall reaction ends up being.
This has been most obvious in the context of recent mass shootings. In those awful episodes, a religious or ethnic minority group lacking such privilege would likely be collectively slandered and/or targeted with surveillance or profiling (or worse) if some of its individuals comprised most of the mass shooters. However, white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those shootings — even though most come at the hands of white dudes.
Likewise, in the context of terrorist attacks, such privilege means white non-Islamic terrorists are typically portrayed not as representative of whole groups or ideologies, but as “lone wolf” threats to be dealt with as isolated law enforcement matters. Meanwhile, non-white or developing-world terrorism suspects are often reflexively portrayed as representative of larger conspiracies, ideologies and religions that must be dealt with as systemic threats — the kind potentially requiring everything from law enforcement action to military operations to civil liberties legislation to foreign policy shifts. (Salon)
Lid of Boston Marathon pressure cooker bomb was found on sixth floor rooftop of hotel 35 yards away -- and guests thought it was a hubcap New crime scene photographs from the first blast confirms that a pressure cooker was used in the device ~
Lid of pressure cooker found on rooftop of building 35 yards away ~
Other photographs submitted to the FBI reveal the scene before and after the second bomb detonated ~
Devices were designed to act as 'Claymore' anti-personnel devices - which are meant to maim on the battlefield ~
An orange and grey bag can be seen on the opposite side of barriers to spectators before the second blast ~
The pressure-cooker bombs were packed with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings ~
Devices are frequently used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, according to Homeland Security - The force of the first blast at the Boston marathon was so strong, the lid of the pressure cooker bomb was found on the sixth-floor roof of a hotel 35 yards away from the explosion site and is now a vital clue in the investigation.
A guest at the Charlesmark Hotel discovered the crucial piece of evidence just minutes after the blast. He picked up the twisted metal – believing it was a hubcap from a vehicle damaged in the bomb – and gave it to a policeman.
Twenty-four hours later he was quizzed by FBI agents, who revealed the mangled metal was one of biggest clues so far in the search for the terrorists who killed three and injured 183 others. (UK Daily Mail)
Nat Guard WMD teams were on hand in Boston yesterday While Northern Command, the U.S. military's combatant command responsible for defending U.S. soil tells Killer Apps it has not sent any troops to Boston, local National Guard units were on scene during the bombings at the Boston Marathon yesterday.
In particular, the Massachusetts and New York National Guards had deployed their Civil Support Teams to the marathon. (It's worth pointing out that the fact that so many well trained first responders were already on hand may have played a role in keeping the death toll relatively low.)
CSTs, as they are known, are National Guard units that are specially trained and equipped to detect and respond to chemical, biological, or radiological incidents. Basically, they're the first people a governor would call in the event of a WMD attack. These teams were on hand before the marathon even started, according to New York Guard spokesman Eric Durr, who says that such teams are deployed before most major events where public officials worry about the threat of a WMD attack. (Foreign Policy)
Saudi national no longer 'person of interest' in Boston bombings, no other suspects 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." (Foreign Policy)
Three killed, including 8-year-old boy, in explosions at Boston Marathon finish line; President Obama vows to bring perpetrators to justice Three people were killed and 144 others were injured this afternoon as two powerful explosions detonated in quick succession near the Boston Marathon finish line in Boston’s Back Bay section, transforming a scene of athletic celebration into bloody chaos.
When the smoke cleared from the apparent terrorist attack, dozens of victims lay in the street, some unconscious, some grievously injured, including some whose limbs had been torn off by the blast. - Davis had initially said there had been a third explosion at the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester. But the police department later downplayed those comments, suggesting that the incident might not have been an explosion and might have been a fire.
Hundreds of police officers and firefighters descended on the scene immediately after the blasts, clearing out the finish-line viewing stands. FBI, State Police, and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were among the investigators, officials said.
Bomb squads searched the area, said Steve MacDonald, a spokesman for the Boston Fire Department. Officials said another explosion, heard in the city around 4 p.m., was a “controlled blast” staged as part of bomb squad activity. (Boston Globe)
Tight security helps allay fears on the MBTA As dawn broke crisp and clear Tuesday over a hushed Boston, trains rolled steadily through the city, largely without incident or delay.
Commuters spoke in whispered tones, stared into phones, or peered over the shoulders of their neighbors to eye the horrific images from the Boston Marathon on the pages of newspapers.
“Obviously, you don’t really want to take public transportation right now,” said 23-year-old Shelby Zawaduk, who said she feared trains could be a target. Waiting at Park Street Station for a Green Line train, she eyed men in military uniforms stationed on the platform. “But seeing the guards definitely makes me feel better.”
For many of the day’s commuters, the sight of Boston police officers, state troopers, SWAT teams, National Guard members, and police dogs at MBTA stations brought a small measure of relief to a region trying mightily to go about the business of regular life.
Every subway car, trolley, and bus was checked before the start of service Tuesday morning, said Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Train operators on the Green Line informed commuters that Copley Station would be closed all day.
At stations around the city, law enforcement officers paced up and down train platforms, rifles in hand. At Arlington Station, National Guardsmen asked commuters heading into the station to open their duffels and purses for a security check. “No guns, no bombs?” asked one, pulling back the zipper of a backpack. (Boston Globe)
"Innocent" Saudi has ties to several Al-Qaeda Terrorists A couple of weeks ago we warned America about the very serious problem of Saudi infiltration; many of these Saudi nationals are criminals and terrorists.
After the bombings, a Saudi by the name of Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi was hospitalized and became a ‘suspect’, then a ‘person of interest’. His apartment was searched by federal and local authorities. No confirmation has been given so far to his involvement. The Media were quick to claim his innocence, of course.
This brings us to the Boston marathon bombings. Foreign Policy is reporting that he’s ‘no longer a person of interest’, which means he’s “innocent”, right?
Perhaps a quick look at the Arabic sources should raise the eyebrows of every American relative to the extent of the problem at hand. Many from Al-Harbi’s clan are steeped in terrorism and are members of Al-Qaeda. Out of a list of 85 terrorists listed by the Saudi government shows several of Al-Harbi clan to have been active fighters in Al-Qaeda:
#15 Badr Saud Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi
#73 Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi
#26 Khalid Salim Uwaid Al-Lahibi Al-Harbi
#29 Raed Abdullah Salem Al-Thahiri Al-Harbi
#43 Abdullah Abdul Rahman Muhammad Al-Harbi (leader)
#60 Fayez Ghuneim Humeid Al-Hijri Al-Harbi (Walid Shoebat)
Al Sharpton's Radio Producer Tweets Speculation That 'Anti-Gov' Group Behind Boston Marathon Bombings At 3:38 p.m. Eastern, Huffington Post blogger and Al Sharpton radio producer Nida Khan speculated on Twitter that an anti-government group may be responsible for the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon.
"We don't know anything yet of course, but it is tax day & my first thought was all these anti-gov groups, but who knows," tweeted Khan, who immediately received a lot of blowback on Twitter for politicizing the tragedy. But rather than back down, Khan defended her speculation in subsequent tweets like these:
"So ...according to conservatives tweeting me, it's ok to highlight that it could have been a terrorist group, but not an anti-gov group, smh" (News Busters)
Boston Marathon explosion: University of Mobile coach offers first-hand reports from scene Alastair Stevenson is thankful he was able to finish the Boston Marathon in the time he did.
Had he not, the tragic circumstances unfolding in downtown Boston might have personally affected him. - While there is no confirmation yet on whether the blasts were the result of a terrorist attack, Stevenson said something he saw before the race was unusual.
"At the starting line this morning, they had bomb sniffing dogs and the bomb squad out there," he said. "They kept announcing to runners not to be alarmed, that they were running a training exercise."
He added, "I've run a lot of races like this one, but I never saw bomb dogs at the starting line of any running event. It led me to believe that something like (a bomb detonation) might have happened." (AL.com)
Boston Marathon explosions kill at least three -- in pictures At least three people – including an eight-year-old – were killed and 144 more injured, 30 critically, in a pair of explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday. The explosions occurred at 2.50pm ET, just feet away from the finishing line, where hundreds of runners were still arriving as the world's oldest annual marathon was in full flow (London Guardian)
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