Obama calls Boston bombing ‘an act of terrorism’

April 16, 2013
President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, about the Boston Marathon explosions. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Obama speaks at the White House on Tuesday about the Boston Marathon explosions. (Susan Walsh/AP)

President Obama told reporters Tuesday morning that federal authorities are investigating Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon “as an act of terrorism,” though they still did not know who perpetrated the attack and what might have been the motive.

“Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror,” Obama said in the White House briefing room. “What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried it out, and why.”

“Clearly, we’re at the beginning of our investigation,” he added. “But we will find out. We will find whoever harmed our citizens, and we will bring them to justice.”

Just before talking to reporters, the president met with his national security team, including FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and his deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, Lisa Monaco.

“This was a heinous and cowardly act,” said Obama, who did not take questions.

The president praised both the marathon runners and Boston residents for their response, saying they showed the world how the country responds to acts of terror: “Selflessly. Compassionately. Unafraid.”

“The American people refuse to be terrorized,” Obama said.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.
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