Leaders from around the world Monday reacted to the Boston Marathon bombing that President Obama is now calling an act of terror. The first images of the bombs detonated in the attacked were leaked to the media and Congress began to look into actions it can take to make America safer.
From the U.K., where the London Marathon is taking place on Sunday, London Mayor Boris Johnson called the bombings “shocking, cowardly and horrific.”
“The thoughts of all Londoners this morning will be with the victims,” he said. “Boston is a proud city built on history, tradition and a real sense of community. These attacks were aimed at its core, at innocent men, women and children enjoying a Spring day out at a major sporting event. We do have robust security measures in place for Sunday’s London Marathon, but given events in Boston, it’s only prudent for the police and the organizers of Sunday’s race to re-examine those security arrangements.”
Amid early reports that the police were questioning a Saudi man after the attack, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., said, “What occurred today in Boston is a heinous crime which contradicts the values of humanity.”
Al-Jubeir released a statement that “strongly condemned” the bombings and offered condolences to the victims’ families while expressing “confidence” that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
In a telephone call Tuesday with the Associated Press, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, denied any role in the bombings, though the group has threatened attacks in the U.S., and had claimed responsibility for a failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square in 2010.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country “would be ready to provide assistance” to U.S. authorities with the investigation into the bombings and said that the international community should come together to fight terrorism.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai released a statement saying, “Having suffered from terrorist attacks and civilian casualties for years, our people feel better the pain and suffering arising from such incidents.”
Karzai “expressed grief over the civilian casualties” caused by the bombs and offered his condolences and sympathy “to the families of the victims and the people of the United States of America,” according to the statement.
In a strange development Tuesday, Fox was forced to pull a recent episode of animated series “Family Guy” from television and Internet sites, after someone spliced together unrelated clips that made it appear as if there was a scene depicting a bombing at the Boston Marathon. “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane slammed the mash-up, which went viral on the web, as “abhorrent.”
The edited video showed two separate clips fused together from the “Turban Cowboy” episode that aired in March, in which lead character Peter Griffin drunkenly drives over runners in order to win the Boston Marathon and then unwittingly becomes friends with an extremist who gives him a cellphone, which Peter calls and explosions are heard.
In addition to eight-year-old Martin Richard who perished in the blast, authorities released the identity of Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager from Medford, Mass., who was also killed. Campbell went to the marathon with her best friend to take a photo of the friend’s boyfriend crossing the finish line on Monday afternoon.
William Campbell said his daughter was “very caring, very loving person, and was Daddy’s little girl.” Her mother, Patty Campbell, told reporters that “everybody who knew her loved her.”
“She had a heart of gold. She was always smiling and friendly. You couldn’t ask for a better daughter. This doesn’t make any sense,” Patty Campbell said.
A graduate student at Boston University is also one of the fatalities in Monday’s attack, according to the school’s president, Robert Brown, while another student was injured and being treated at Boston Medical Center.
“We cannot at present release the names of the victims,” said Brown. “I can tell you that the injured student is in stable condition. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the family and friends of both victims.”
Late Tuesday, the Chinese Consulate confirmed that the deceased student is a Chinese citizen. “At the request of her family, the victim’s personal information will not be disclosed. Another Chinese citizen is among the injured and is in stable condition now after surgery,” said the consulate in a statement.
President Barack Obama is to travel to Boston Thursday for an interfaith service for the bombing victims. Calling the bombings an act of terrorism, he said investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international organization, a domestic group or a “malevolent individual.”
He added: “The American people refuse to be terrorized.”
There were many items from the bombs that are being recovered at the scene, including pieces of black nylon that could be from a backpack, fragments of ball bearings and nails, and possibly the remains of a pressure cooker device, Richard DesLauriers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s special agent in charge in Boston, told a news conference on Tuesday. The evidence collected is being reconstructed at the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, DesLauriers said.
There were also bomb scene pictures produced by the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force showing the remains of an explosive device including twisted pieces of a metal container, wires, a battery and what appears to be a small circuit board.
Because of the way the bombs were constructed, they contained many small objects like nails and ball bearings intended to fly outward and embed into flesh.
Hospitals are saving the shrapnel pieces doctors pick out of the wounds of the injured, including metal, plastic, wood and concrete.
“We’ve taken on large quantities of pieces … we send them to the pathologists and they are available to the police,” Dr. Peter Burke, the chief of trauma surgery at Boston Medical Center, told reporters on Wednesday.
“Things are moving along as expected and the patients are doing well,” he said.
Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center told CBS News that 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.”
Though there were initial reports that two unexploded bombs were found on the scene, Gov. Deval Patrick said no unexploded bombs were found.
A $50,000 reward for information leading to arrests in the bombing was announced by the Boston police and firefighters unions. In addition, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said investigators had gathered a large number of surveillance tapes from businesses in the area and intend to go through them frame by frame.
“This is probably one of the most photographed areas in the country yesterday,” Davis said.
In Washington, as Congress tries to figure out an appropriate response, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Reid Ribble said, “This is the era we live in.”
“And it’s always that complexity of trying to say how much do you limit freedom within a free society. And I think those are policy ideas that lawmakers are going to struggle with for a very long time. I honestly don’t know anyone in here [who] knows what the fix is,” he said, according to Politico.
Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Kansas Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the United States should think about reallocating resources.
“Last month, the last M1 tank departed Europe for the first time since D-Day,” Pompeo said. “We probably should’ve done that 10 years ago — we’re slow to change to the evolving threats.”
Pompeo went on to point out that a big issue around the country will be cuts to police departments.
Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), who is a fiscal conservative running for the Senate, said Congress needs to do “whatever we have to do to prevent terrorist attacks.”
“Under the original intent of the Constitution, national defense should be a major function of the federal government — unlike a lot of things we are doing here today,” Broun said. “So keeping America safe is absolutely critical.”