Boston marathon blasts: Saudi national under scanner?

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 10:34

Zee Media Bureau

Boston: Police officials are questioning a Saudi national who is suspected to have been behind the twin bombings at Boston marathon that killed three and injured at least 144, reports said Tuesday.

However, it is not yet confirmed if the Saudi Arabian under scanner had any role in the blasts.

According to other reports, a dark skinned person is suspected to be behind the blasts.

Boston police are examining the surveillance CCTV footage for clues on the suspect.

Also, the hunt is on for a yellow truck, which is supposed to be a vital link to the blasts.

The investigation has been taken over by the FBI, who are treating it as a terror attack.

"It is a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorism investigation," the FBI special agent in charge Rick DesLauriers said.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has issued a warning to all citizens to remain alert and report any suspicious object, especially on public transportation. Patrick has also told them to expect tight security around the city on Tuesday.

Police Commissioner Ed Davis vows to find the perpetrator or perpetrators of the twin blasts. "We will turn every rock over to find whoever did this."

The thunderous blasts struck near the finish line of the marathon, long after the winners had crossed. Competitors who were still running when the blasts rocked downtown Boston were diverted elsewhere. Some 27,000 people were entered to take part in the event.

Video footage on American TV showed the moment when the first blast apparently struck: the detonation came on the left side of the course, behind spectators and a row of colorful national flags showing how runners come from around the world to take part.

Security people in yellow jackets threw their hands to their ears as the blast took place and at least one runner was thrown to the ground as white smoke billowed upward. The already waving flags whipped violently with the shockwave of the explosion.

As cities from New York to Los Angeles went on high alert, Americans with ever-vivid memories of the September 11, 2001 suicide airliner attacks automatically wondered if the country had been hit again by terrorists.

President Barack Obama went on national television to say it was not yet clear who was behind the blasts. He said the perpetrators would pay. He did not utter the word "terror."

"We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn`t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts," Obama said. "But make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we`ll find out why they did this."

A senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said later that "any event with multiple explosive devices -- as this appears to be -- is clearly an act of terror."

At the blast scene, a horrific chorus of high-pitched wailing and screaming rang out as bewildered runners and spectators fled the carnage and debris.

News reports said one of the fatalities was an eight-year-old boy and that some of the injured lost limbs. One woman told CNN the blast was the loudest sound she had ever heard, and it made the ground shake.

With AFP Inputs



First Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 08:54

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