Obama: Boston Marathon Bombings Are Acts of Terrorism

President Barack Obama finishes speaking in the Brady Press Briefing Room about the Boston Marathon explosions. President Barack Obama finishes speaking in the Brady Press Briefing Room about the Boston Marathon explosions. Susan Walsh/AP

President Obama today declared that the bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon are now being investigated as terrorism, stating that “any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.”

But, appearing briefly in the White House briefing room, the president stressed that much is yet unknown, indicating that investigators are not close to identifying the bombers responsible for the deaths and mayhem that left the finish line of the marathon looking like a war scene.

While blasting the attack as “a heinous and cowardly act,” Obama quickly added, “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.” Later, in what seemed to be comments added after he had completed his prepared remarks, he again stressed how much investigators still need to learn.

“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 don't know whether this is an act of an organization or an individual or individuals. We don't have a sense of motive yet.” With so many rumors being spread on social media and websites, the president stressed, “Everything else at this point is speculation.” But he promised, “as we receive more information as the FBI has more information, as our counterterrorism teams have more information, we'll make sure to keep you and the American people posted.”

But, as he did in his initial remarks Monday, Obama urged caution and patience even as he pledged that the guilty will be apprehended. “Clearly,” he said, “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.”

Obama, though, said it is not too early to assess how Americans in general and Bostonians in particular responded to the assault. “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.” Recalling tales of citizens helping the wounded, the president said, “So if you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that's it. Selflessly, compassionately, unafraid.”

He also asked average Americans to assist investigators and be aware of heightened security measures. “In the coming days,we'll pursue every effort to get to the bottom of what happened and remain vigilant,” he said. “I have directed my administration to take appropriate security measures that protect the American people,and this is a good time for all of us to remember that we all have a part to play in alerting authorities. If you see something suspicious, speak up.”

The president made his remarks after receiving his latest briefing on the bombing. The briefers included FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and his top antiterrorism adviser, Lisa Monaco.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.