Day after Boston Marathon bombings news roundup: pressure cookers, military deployment and more

image credit: @Anon_online

Madison Ruppert
Activist Post

In the wake of yesterday’s Boston Marathon bombings I published a news roundup covering a great deal of ground. Since then, a great deal of reports have been retracted, new information has been revealed and no responsible parties or motives have been identified.

Obama’s second press conference

Today, during his second press conference after the Boston Marathon bombings, President Barack Obama said that the FBI is investigating the bombings as an act of terrorism but a clear motive has not been established.

During the press conference, Obama noted that the administration has been told to implement “appropriate security measures to protect the American people,” the specifics of which have not been revealed.

“This was a heinous and cowardly act,” Obama said, “and given what we now know the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism.”

“Anytime a bomb is used to target civilians, it is an act of terror,” Obama said.

However, Obama did say that they do not know if the attack was carried out by a group or individual of foreign or domestic origin.

Obama also noted that he had met earlier Tuesday with FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security Lisa Monaco.

Pressure cooker bombs

According to unnamed law enforcement officials cited by NBC News, investigators now believe that the bombs were actually pressure cookers hidden in backpacks and detonated by timers.

NBC News also reports that law enforcement officials said that the explosives were classified as “low,” which means the blasts traveled under 3,300 feet per second.

That means the blast was not powerful enough to create a so-called blast wave which is in and of itself capable of killing people, but was powerful enough to send shrapnel flying a significant distance.

According to NBC, one of the three bombs that was going to be used in an attempted Times Square bombing in 2010 was a pressure cooker.

“Earlier that year, terrorists used a pressure cooker bomb in an attack in Pakistan,” NBC reports. “And in 2006, more than 130 people were killed on the transit system of Mumbai, India, when pressure cookers loaded with explosives were placed on trains.”

Pentagon ready to assist civil authorities

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said that the U.S. military is ready to assist domestic law enforcement.

“(The attack) is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror,” Hagel said, according to Stars and Stripes.

Hagel said during a hearing on Capitol Hill that a decision made last month to “disestablish two National Guard civil support teams, including the one that responded to the bombing in Boston, has been reversed.”

Over 400 Massachusetts National Guardsmen are on duty to continue assisting local authorities, according to a news release from the Guard and the Guard is staging buses and helicopters should they be needed.

In addition, the 211th Military Police Battalion has been called upon to provide security and the Massachusetts National Guard’s 387th Ordnance Company has been activated and the 267th Combat Communications Squad is heading to Boston to assist with communications.

A Navy bomb disposal unit has also been dispatched to Boston to assist local authorities.

“I will continue to consult closely with DOD senior leaders and my counterparts in other agencies on how we can best support the government’s response and investigations,” Hagel said, according to Stars and Stripes.


Many reports have been retracted including the reports that cell service was disabled to prevent the detonation of additional bombs and reports that there was a third bomb at the JFK Library.

MIT’S Knight Science Journalism Tracker points out that reports of additional unexploded bombs were also been retracted, though one AP story “reported at the top that no unexploded bombs had been found, and lower down that two had been found.”

The Denver Post pointed out last night, “The media did what it could with very limited information. But the story clearly won’t be told for days to come.”

Other questionable reports from the New York Post have “little corroboration from more-reputable news sources,” as the International Business Times puts it, and they have not been retracted.

All that despite John Miller of CBS and former associate director at the FBI, saying that “[Law enforcement officials] have been questioning one individual since just after the blast who is NOT being described as a suspect but was very close to the bomb at the time of the blast and who police thought was acting suspiciously.”

“He has been fully cooperative throughout,” Miller said, casting further doubts on the Post’s reporting.

Media speculation

Despite the Obama administration stating clearly that they do not know who was behind the attacks, this did not stopped some talking heads from speculating wildly yesterday.

“It’s more than rumor, it’s chatter from within the intelligence services that suggests that it might not be what one’s mind perhaps leaps to of Islamic radicals,” said one individual on the BBC yesterday.

“It could be homegrown extremists who have attacked in the past within America,” he said.

Yesterday Chris Matthews speculated in a similar way, attempting to link the attack to “Tax Day.”

A former FBI agent said yesterday that the bombings “have more the flavor of a domestic extremist group.”

But with the reports of the pressure cooker bombs and the links drawn by NBC, this narrative may be shifting.

Government to use crowdsourced surveillance for investigation

Investigators will reportedly rely to a large extent on crowdsourced surveillance drawn from the photos, videos and other data captured by Boston Marathon spectators.

“We’d like to review any type of media,” including “video [and] photographic evidence” of the attack, said Gene Marquez of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, according to Danger Room.

All of the imagery collected from the public will be collected in addition to video from surveillance cameras. The video is currently being secured according to Boston police commissioner Ed Davis.

Davis added that they plan to “go through every frame of every video we have to determine who was in the area.”

“Assistance from the public remains critical,” said Richard DesLauriers, the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation.

DesLauriers said that they are just beginning to “interview witnesses and process the crime scene” and as such it could “take some time” before any leads or evidence develop.

As one blogger pointed out, this is somewhat ironic since the government has, in the past, labeled photography a “suspicious activity” and a potential indicator of terrorism.

Updates will follow as more information is available.

Did I forget anything or miss any errors? Would you like to make me aware of a story or subject to cover? Or perhaps you want to bring your writing to a wider audience? Feel free to contact me at [email protected] with your concerns, tips, questions, original writings, insults or just about anything that may strike your fancy.

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM – 9 PM PT/10 PM – 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at [email protected]

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