Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Obama visits Boston as hunt continues for two suspects

President Obama pauses while speaking at an interfaith healing service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. CHARLES KRUPA / Associated Press
President Obama pauses while speaking at an interfaith healing service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. CHARLES KRUPA / Associated Press

President Barack Obama visited Boston today and spoke to a crowd of about 2,000 at an interfaith ceremony, saying "we'll pick ourselves up. We'll keep going. We will finish the race."

An emotional Obama demeaned the still unidentified culprit or culprits as "small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build, and think somehow that makes them important."

"Yes, we will find you," he declared as applause filled the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. "And, yes, you will face justice. We will find you. We will hold you accountable."

His speech didn't clarify who federal investigators are searching for and came at a time when conflicting reports of who is sought — even the number of individuals involved — provided little insight into the bombings now four days past.

Update: A press conference has been scheduled for 5 p.m. to provide an update to the investigation.

Some major news organizations reported earlier Thursday that authorities are seeking two possible suspects.

Video stills of the suspects could be released to the public today.

The new information comes after a confusing series of reports Wednesday in which various media reported a suspect was either in custody, arrested, or due in court, in connecting with the two blasts that killed three and injured more than 170. The F.B.I. denied it had not even identified a suspect.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said he shared the frustration that those responsible were still at large, but he said solving the case will not "happen by magic."

Authorites reportedly have clear images of two suspects and will release video of them at some point today, according to a Boston Globe report that cited an unidentified government official with knowledge of the case

In Washington D.C., Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said investigators are indeed seeking two individuals captured on video surveillance.

In the images, one of the men is seen carrying a black backpack. An FBI official has said that the bombs were placed inside a black nylon backpack or bag.

The Los Angeles Times also reported this morning that investigators obtained clear images of the faces of two men with backpacks acting suspiciously.

Investigators are relying most heavily on images obtained from surveillance footage taken by a nearby Lord & Taylor department store camera. One of the images shows a man leaving a backpack on the ground, near the finish line.

Officials told the newspaper that the men were picked out because of the way they reacted to the bomb blasts.

And, the Boston Globe also says clear images have been obtained of of two separate suspects carrying black bags at each explosion site. They might release the images today in an appeal for the public’s help.  The bombing sites are a block apart.

But, one official told the newspaper that the best video has come from surveillance cameras on the same side of Boylston Street as the explosions - not the Lord & Taylor surveillance camera.

Investigators have said in the past they would rely heavily on the latest face-recognition software to help identify suspects.  They also have countless images taken by those shooting photos or video of the race from cell phones and personal cameras.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press, was reporting this morning that investigators were on the hunt for one suspect seen in the Lord & Taylor surveillance video.  The AP cited a local Boston politician and a law enforcement official as the source.  The suspect was seen dropping off a bag at the site of the bombings

Regardless, the developments could mark a possible turning point in the case that has investigators analyzing photos and videos frame by frame for clues to who carried out the twin bombings and why. They have not released any of the images from the Lord & Taylor video.

Authorities have said the bombs were crudely made from pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails and ball bearings. The pressure cookers were believed left in black duffel bags on the ground.

At least 14 bombing victims, including three children, remained in critical condition as of yesterday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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