How are feds responding to the Boston Marathon bombing?

The Justice Department has reacted to Monday’s deadly Boston Marathon explosions by pouring resources into the area.

The FBI is leading the investigation into Monday’s incident, working closely with all components of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a law-enforcement umbrella group that includes specialists from national, state and local agencies, according to Justice Department officials.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaks to reporters alongside officials from various federal, state and local agencies on Tuesday. (Stan Honda/AFP-Getty).
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaks to reporters alongside officials from federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies on Tuesday. (Stan Honda/AFP-Getty)

The job of the task force is to examine forensics, investigate the myriad tips that officials have received, analyze photos and video footage and scour the scene for additional explosives, according to a statement on Tuesday by Rick DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston field office.

“The scene is going to take several days to process,” DesLauriers said at a news conference in Boston.

“We will go where the evidence and the leads take us,” DesLauriers added. “We will go to the ends of the earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime, and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice.”

Other Justice Department agencies taking part in the response include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which would handle any potential terrorism charges.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said it had dispatched explosives teams — including bomb techs and canines — to work jointly with the FBI and its other task force partners. About 30 ATF forensics specialists were also on the scene, according to Gene Marquez, acting special agent in charge of the ATF’s Boston field office.

The Justice Department declined to elaborate on the role of the DEA and U.S. Marshals Service on Tuesday morning.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose department is separate from Justice, has vowed to provide “whatever assistance” necessary to assist with the response. The department has released little information on its efforts except to say that it was implementing “enhanced security measures at transportation hubs, utilizing measures both seen and unseen,” according to a statement from Napolitano.

DesLauriers said Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division has played a key role in the investigation. “They are interviewing witnesses with us and assisting us integrally with this investigation,” the special agent said.

DesLauriers declined to comment on who might be in custody.

 

The intelligence community is also taking part in the response, according to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who released a statement on Tuesday outlining the Justice Department’s efforts.

“Although it is not yet clear who executed this attack, whether it was an individual or group or whether it was carried out with support or involvement from a terrorist organization — either foreign or domestic — we will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to justice,” Holder said.

The Federal Eye will update this blog with further information — including new statements from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security — as it becomes available.

For more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics.

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Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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Josh Hicks · April 16, 2013