Latest from Boston

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Topics: Boston Explosions, Boston Marathon, U.S. Government, Legal issues, Law enforcement, Laguardia Airport, President Obama, Martin Richard, Bill Richard, Steve King, Krystle M. Campbell, Stock Market, Video, Immigration, Pressure cooker, Finance,

Latest from BostonA Boston police officer stands inside the barricaded entrance at Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 16, 2013. (Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

Updated: 5:01 p.m.

The organizing body pledges to run the maration next year. Here’s the complete statement from Thomas Grilk, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association.

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) extends its deepest sympathies to all those who were affected by Monday’s tragic events. Those who lost their lives and were injured are in our thoughts and prayers.

It is a sad day for the City of Boston, for the running community, and for all those who were here to enjoy the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. What was intended to be a day of joy and celebration quickly became a day in which running a marathon was of little importance.

We want to express our deepest gratitude to all of the B.A.A. medical personnel and volunteers and the City of Boston’s first responders who reacted so courageously to help save lives. Special thanks to the loyal Boston Marathon community – over 8500 volunteers, 1000 medical personnel, the organizing committee, and hundreds of thousands along the race route – who make the experience what it is for all our runners, who are hurting today.

We would like to thank the countless people from around the world who have reached out to support us over the last 24 hours.

We are cooperating with the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and all federal law enforcement officials in the investigation and the effort to bring those responsible for this tragedy to justice, so we are limited in what information we can provide.

Boston is strong. Boston is resilient. Boston is our home. And Boston has made us enormously proud in the past 24 hours. The Boston Marathon is a deeply held tradition – an integral part of the fabric and history of our community. We are committed to continuing that tradition with the running of the 118th Boston Marathon in 2014.

Updated: 4:24 p.m.

Everyone’s a little edgy. And now there’s this sign of the apocalypse:

 

Updated: 4:06 p.m.



The major stock indexes notched substantial gains today after suffering their worst losses of the year on Monday. Reuters attributed the gains to encouraging inflation data and strong corporate earnings. In addition, investors were also heartened by the gold price which stabilized after a plunge. Buying up gold, incidentally, is exactly what survivalists and other paranoid types do when they fear the kind of spreading instability that might be brought on by a terrorist attack.

Updated: 3:35 p.m.

Earlier today there was discussion of a Saudi man under questioning. It is now being widely reported that he is being treated as a witness and not a suspect.

Updated: 3:15 p.m.

Due to a glitch in its computer system, American Airlines has grounded its fleet until 5 p.m. eastern time. This is apparently unrelated to the Boston bombings.

Updated: 3:03 p.m.

Lutheran Church Charities is developing a niche in sending comfort dogs, golden retrievers trained to be extra affectionate, to disaster sites. It will be deploying cuddly relief in the form of Luther and Ruthie (below) to Boston. (Photo via Razoo.)

Updated: 2:45 p.m.Krystle Campbell’s employer, Summer Shack seafood restaurant, posted its condolences on Facebook:The Summer Shack family is devastated by the loss of our beloved Krystle. No words can describe how much she meant to all of us. She was an incredible woman, always full of energy and hard at work, but never too tired to share her love and a smile with everyone. She was an inspiration to all of us. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers. We are continuing to remain positive for Karen and ask that you keep her in your prayers as well.Updated: 2:21 p.m.The second victim, Krystle M. Campbell, 29, was at the finish line to cheer for her boyfriend, Yahoo News reports:Her father, William A. Campbell Jr., told Yahoo News he's in shock that his daughter was killed."My daughter was the most lovable girl. She helped everybody, and I'm just so shocked right now. We're just devastated," he said. "She was a wonderful, wonderful girl. Always willing to lend a hand."

Updated: 2:10 p.m.

The identity of the second victim has been confirmed:

Updated: 2:02 p.m.

Earlier we posted that the roommate of a Saudi man whose home was searched has been speaking to the media. Here’s his remarkable interview with Fox News. To avoid any possibility of confusion, the interviewee is not a suspect:

Updated: 1:48 p.m.

More reporting and analysis from our Salon colleagues:

Alex Seitz-Wald finds the guy who beat the conspiracy theorists at their own game.

Andrew Leonard on what the attacks mean for personal privacy.

Joan Walsh says the bombings probably won’t help the federal gun control bill become law.

Updated: 1: 43 p.m.

New footage of the initial blast has surfaced at The Daily Beast. It was taken by a runner wearing a camera:

 

Updated: 1:34 p.m.

A devastating picture of bombing victim Martin Richard:

Photo credit: Richard Family Facebook

 

Updated: 1:31 pm.

The New York Stock Exchange held a moment of silence for Boston:


Updated: 1:24 p.m.

A story in Politico says that a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and the Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal was abruptly closed to the press. Reports have said that a Saudi resident of Boston is a “person of interest” in the bombings and that a wounded Saudi medical student is not a suspect but is cooperating with the investigation. Remember, authorities have not announced any arrests.

From Politico:

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.

“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. “It doesn’t wash,” he added.

 

Updated: 1:20 p.m.

Bill Richard, father of 8 year-old victim Martin Richard released the following statement:

Updated: 1:10 p.m.

The cover of Sports Illustrated:

 

Updated: 1:00 p.m.

 

Boston’s Logan Airport is functioning today. About an hour ago the airport posted this on message on Facebook:

Please note: Out of an abundance of caution a US Airways flight was remotely parked at the airfield while a bag on board was examined. The passengers were bused to the terminal, the baggage was deemed harmless, and the flight taxied to the gate. Airport operations were not impacted. Thank you.

Numerous media outlets incorrectly reported that the US Airways flight triggered a halt to ground operations at the airport.

Updated: 12:57 p.m.

The Wall Street Journal’s Neal Mann defends Twitter against allegations of post-explosion misinformation campaign:

 

Updated: 12: 39 p.m.

The AP has some details on the bombs’ construction:

A person briefed on the Boston Marathon investigation says the explosives were in 6-liter pressure cookers and placed in black duffel bags.

The person says the explosives were placed on the ground and contained shards of metal, nails and ball bearings. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

The person says law enforcement officials have some of the bomb components but did not yet know what was used to set off the explosives.

Updated: 12:23 p.m.

Here’s the full transcript of President Obama’s speech:

 

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good morning, everybody.

I’ve just been briefed by my national security team, including FBI Director Mueller, Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano and my counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, on the attacks in Boston. We continue to mobilize and deploy all appropriate law enforcement resources to protect our citizens and to investigate and to respond to this attack.

Obviously our first thoughts this morning are with the victims, their families and the city of Boston. We know that two explosions gravely wounded dozens of Americans and took the lives of others, including a 8-year-old boy.

This was heinous and cowardly act, and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.

What we don’t 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’s what we don’t yet know, and clearly we’re at the beginning of our investigation. It will take time to follow every lead and determine what happened.

But we will find out. We will find whoever harmed our citizens, and we will bring them to justice.

We also know this: The American people refuse to be terrorized because what the world saw yesterday in the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and kindness and generosity and love — exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood and those who stayed to tend to the wounded, some tearing off their own clothes to make tourniquets; the first responders who ran into the chaos to save lives; the men and the women who are still treating the wounded at some of the best hospitals in the world and the medical students who hurried to help saying, when we heard, we all came in; the priests who opened their churches and administered to the hurt and the fearful and the good people of Boston who opened their homes to the victims of this attack and those shaken by it. So if you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that’s it: selflessly, compassionately, not afraid.

In the coming days we will pursue every effort to get to the bottom of what happened, and we will continue to remain vigilant. I’ve directed my administration to take appropriate security measures to protect the American people. And this is a good time for all of us to remember that we all have a part of play in alerting authorities. If you see something suspicious, speak up. I have extraordinary confidence in the men and women of the FBI, the Boston Police Department and the other agencies that responded so heroically and effectively in the aftermath of yesterday’s events.

I’m very grateful for the leadership of Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and I know that even as we protect our people and aggressively pursue this investigation, the people of Boston will continue to respond in the same proud and heroic way that they have thus far.

And their fellow Americans will be right there with them.

Thank you very much.

And you can expect further briefings from our law enforcement officials as the day goes on. When we have more details, they will be disclosed.

What I’ve indicated to you is what we know now. We know it was bombs that were set off. We know that obviously they did some severe damage. We do not know who did them. We do not know whether this is an act of an organization or an individual or individuals. We don’t have a sense of motive yet. So everything else at this point is speculation.

But as we receive more information, as the FBI has more information, as our counterterrorism teams have more information, we will make sure to keep you and the American people posted.

All right? Thank you very much, everybody.

Update: 12:13 p.m.

It took Congressman and professional xenophobe Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) less than 24 hours to use the tragedy to promote his longstanding anti-immigrant agenda. National Review has the story:

“Some of the speculation that has come out is that yes, it was a foreign national and, speculating here, that it was potentially a person on a student visa,” King says. “If that’s the case, then we need to take a look at the big picture.”

On immigration, King says national security should be the focus now, and any talk about a path to legalization should be put on hold.

“We need to be ever vigilant,” he says. “We need to go far deeper into our border crossings. . . . We need to take a look at the visa-waiver program and wonder what we’re doing. If we can’t background-check people that are coming from Saudi Arabia, how do we think we are going to background check the 11 to 20 million people that are here from who knows where?”

Update: 12:07 p.m.

The victims included a “vivacious” 8 year-old boy who loved running and climbing. From the AP:

Martin Richard was among the three people killed in the explosions Monday, according to U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a friend of the family for 25 years. The boy’s mother, Denise, and 6-year-old sister, Jane, were badly injured.

They had gone to get ice cream, then returned to the area near the finish line. Neighbor Jack Cunningham said Martin’s father, Bill, was a runner but had been injured and didn’t run the marathon.

The injury count is now 176 according to CNN.

 

Updated: 11: 51 a.m.
Terror sex ads are not as common as tales of heroism but there is a proliferation on Craigslist. Here’s one:

Care to celebrate life with me today? – m4w – 45 (Lowell/Billerica area)

Disturbed and not sure how to process or react to news of the incidents at the Boston Marathon today.

Just want human contact, celebrate life in the face of it.
Looking for making out and touching.
If that’s what happens, great. If the chemistry or the moment feel right and things go further, well, awesome.If you’re feeling similarly, and also want contact and tenderness in this moment, reach out….

 

 

 

Updated: 11:39 a.m.

The White House tweeted key phrases from his speech, which clarified the meta media controversy of whether the President considered the attacks terrorism. We’ll have the full transcript for you shortly,

Updated: 11:36 a.m.

The Boston Globe reports on the injuries seen at Boston’s world class hospitals:

The metal fragments found in marathon-goers — 20 pieces, or 30 or more in some people — are too uniform, Dr. George Velmahos, trauma chief at Massachusetts General Hospital said during a morning press conference. They look like pellets or nails, something meant to do harm.

“My opinion is that most of them were in the bomb,” Velmahos said. “I think it’s unlikely they would be so consistent if they were pulled out from the environment.”

He described the objects as pellets that were pea-sized or smaller and nails without their heads. Patients were hit throughout their bodies, from the neck down, he said.

Dr. Ron Walls, an emergency physician from Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, gave a similar description, saying that in several patients doctors found nails or small ball bearings. The items “clearly were designed to be projectiles that were built into the device.”

Surgeons at Mass. General removed the lower limbs of several patients, some of whom came in so injured that they were considered “almost automatic amputees,” Velmahos said.

Updated: 11:27 a.m.

This being America there’s already an online market for 2013 Boston Marathon memorabilia, some of it referencing the bombings.

Updated: 11:24 a.m.

My Salon colleagues are producing solid coverage on all aspects of the bombing:

Katie McDonough on heroism at the scene.

Alex Pareene says “Let’s not be terrorized.”

Erin Keane thinks Patton Oswalt’s Facebook post got it exactly right.

Alex Seitz-Wald looks at how the radical fringe instantly manufactured a conspiracy.

And much more.

Updated: 11:16 a.m.

President Obama will speak at 11:30 a.m.

Updated: 11:06 a.m.

Updated: 11:04 a.m.

At a press conference Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis called the site “the most complex crime scene that we’ve dealt with in the history of our department.”

Updated: 10:57 a.m.

The current media climate, in which information and misinformation travels instantly, can complicate a confusing situation but it may also be able to provide valuable clues. Authorities have asked spectators to submit photos and videos of the bomb scene, per NBC News:

There has to be hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs, videos and other observations that were made down at that finish line yesterday,” said Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. “You might not think it’s significant, but it might have some value to this investigation.

Updated: 10:49 a.m.

Conflicting reports are getting entrenched. The roommate of a Saudi man, whose home the police searched, said “I don’t think he could do that,” according to The Boston Globe.

Meanwhile, Frances Townsend, a Bush administration homeland security official and CNN contributor, said that a wounded Saudi woman has been hospitalized with a leg wound and is cooperating with the investigation. The woman, a medical student is not a suspect, according to Townsend’s tweets.

10:37 a.m.
Politico is reporting that a “foreigner” is a “person of interest” in the ongoing investigation.

The foreigner, who was badly burned, was in the United States on a student visa and is considered a person of interest and possible suspect in the case but has not been formally charged or arrested.
The potential suspect is currently hospitalized.

Yesterday the New York Post reported that a Saudi national was a suspect and in a hospital but Politico did not specify a nationality.

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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