Just days removed from the bombings in Boston, authorities tell news sources that they have made a major break in the case. A possible suspect has been identified on two videos surveyed by investigators. We will get more details at a press conference.
This is obviously a major break in the case, after what was becoming a grueling wait for any answers or progress on the investigation.
Let's take a moment to talk about what we've learned about the victims who's lives were taken too soon.
First we have 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, Massachusetts. The picture of Martin holding a sign asking for “no more hurting people” and for “peace” is heart-breaking yet inspiring for millions who want to hold on to that innocent hope that Martin desired. Last we heard, Martin's mom and sister remain in critical condition and we pray for their recovery.
Krystle Campbell was 29 years old, from Medford, Massachusetts. The story of Krystle's family is traumatizing, as he father was first told that his daughter was in surgery but survived, only to later learn that she had died. Krystle's mother Patty says that her daughter was “a wonderful person. Everybody who knew her loved her.” She says, “You couldn’t ask for a better daughter.” Just unbelievable that these parents and these families are going through this.
We've finally learned the identity of the third victim, Lü Lingzi. She was 23 years old, a graduate student at Boston University. She was from China and came to the United States to live her “dream to get a better education.” Her best friend said that she enjoyed cooking, going to the gym and to play the piano.
These are the three victims who are no longer with us. Over 170 were injured, some remain critical. An unbelievable amount of credit goes to the first responders and good Samaritans who acted heroically in the first crucial minutes of this attack. Their efforts, whether it be tearing off their own clothing to create tourniquets or elevating limbs to spare blood loss, truly did save lives. The EMS dispatch system worked quickly and effectively to get victims to the appropriate hospitals, which also saved lives.
As for the investigation, more details of the bombs themselves have in fact emerged since yesterday.
Yesterday we learned details about the nature of these bombs. They were six-liter pressure cookers, stuffed with items to cause maximum harm such as nails and ball bearings. The bombs were likely inside black nylon backpacks. They were likely detonated by timers, based on the circuit board parts found at the scene. Pictures of this evidence surfaced yesterday from Fox 5 in Atlanta. Today we are learning that federal law enforcement has apparently found the lid for a pressure cooker on a roof near the bombing scene. Before and after pictures provided by 7News in Boston show what could possibly be the second bomb sitting near a mailbox along the marathon route.
Tomorrow Barack Obama will be in Boston to attend an interfaith service for the victims.
Unfortunately, this tragedy hasn't escaped politicization. Yesterday I gave you a litany of unfortunate examples of the media trying to pin blame on specific groups or ideology: right-wingers. That trend has continued.
MSNBC fill-in host Thomas Roberts talked to Harvard professor Jessica Stern. After stating that this type of bomb was published in an al-Qaeda magazine, she went on to say: “It's also important to recognize that the recipe was shared and lauded by storm front, which is a neo-Nazi website. And the whole idea of leaderless, which comes out of the far right neo-Nazi patriot movement also spread over to al-Qaeda-related groups.” She went on to say later: “So my guess is that this probably is a do-it-yourselfer kind of individual or individuals, or perhaps a small group. Either one that was inspired by al-Qaeda or perhaps neo-Nazis or anti-government patriot groups who have been known to act on Patriot’s Day. So the date of the attack suggests that we not overlook the possibility that this could be an American anti-government group.”
An article published by CNN states: “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 … A senior U.S. counterterrorism investigator told CNN that pressure cooker bombs have also been a signature of extreme right-wing individuals in the United States who he said tend to revel in building homemade bombs.”
From the NYPost: “American University terrorism expert Brian Forst said it was 'plausible' that the attack was carried out by a 'right-wing terror group' such as a neo-Nazi or white-supremacist group. This coming Saturday is Hitler’s birthday, he noted.”
Richard Barrett, the former United Nations co-ordinator for the al-Qaeda and Taliban monitoring team, said: "At the moment it looks more likely that it was a right-wing terrorist incident, rather than an al Qaeda attack because of the size of the devices."
And we cannot forget the article published by Salon: “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.” Just outrageous.
Lawmakers went as far as to bring the sequester into the mix, saying that those cuts harm our ability to prevent and respond to attacks such as this in Boston. Others like Barney Frank pointed to the need for more government, saying that “no tax cut would have helped us deal with this.”