US will hold whoever carried out Boston explosions accountable, says President Obama

 

President Barack Obama vowed today that the United States will find out who carried out explosions in Boston and will hold them accountable, and a White House official said the twin blasts are being treated as an "act of 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 in a televised statement. "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."

Obama did not call the explosions an attack and emphasized that much was not known about them. But a White House official said any event with multiple explosive devices, as the Boston episode appeared to be, "is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror."

"However, we don't yet know who carried out this attack, and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign or domestic," the official said.

The Boston explosions put the White House on edge with the Secret Service raising security around the executive mansion. Obama said he has directed the federal government to increase security around the United States as necessary after the explosions.

The blasts offered a fresh challenge to Obama, who early in his second term has been focused on domestic agenda topics such as gun control, immigration and budget deficits.

Obama quickly shifted into a national security mode as soon as he was told about the Boston blasts at 3pm EDT.

He called Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and offered federal assistance. Obama was briefed by FBI Director Bob Mueller and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

"We will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable," Obama said.

He called Boston a tough and resilient town.

"I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward as one proud city, and as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way," he said.

Separately, Vice President Joe Biden, in a telephone conference call about proposals to tighten gun laws, offered his prayers as he reacted to images he saw on television from Boston.

"As I'm speaking here, they just turned on the television here in my office. Apparently there has been a bombing. I don't know any of the details about what caused it, who did it. I don't think it exists yet," Biden said.

"But our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injury. I don't know how many of them there are. I'm still looking at it on television now," he said.

Biden was speaking off the cuff and did not appear to have any independent knowledge of what caused the explosions.

For more on this story see:

Eight-year-old reported among three dead after twin explosions strike Boston Marathon

Boston marathon explosions: eyewitness reports

Video: The Boston explosions as they happened

A symbol of the terror: 78-year-old runner's image shows second blast

In pictures: Scenes of Boston explosions aftermath

Pakistan Taliban deny involvement with Boston explosions

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Arts and Entertainment
A Song For Jenny: Almost unbearably sad, but also unusually challenging.
tvA Song for Jenny, review
News
peopleComedian launches stinging attack on PM
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie has made the top spot after a strong Glastonbury performance
musicAnd what's more it's the last Sunday night chart topper - ever!
News
news
Life and Style
The collection displayed Versace’s softer side, with models wearing flowers and chiffon dresses in unusual colourings
fashionVersace haute couture review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate