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Piecing together the clues from Boston

April 16th, 2013
03:54 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Who did it, and what was their motive?

Those are the two questions being asked by Americans, even President Obama, on Tuesday, the day after a deadly bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Don Borelli, a former senior FBI official, said it was too early to draw any conclusions, but suggested that the nature of the attack has him leaning towards domestic – instead of international – terrorism.

“These devices were not the typical type things that [are made by people] that have been trained in Pakistan or Afghanistan,” Borelli, who is now Chief Operating Office of The Soufan Group, said.

“These were more crude, pipe-bomb-type explosives, possibly with black powder, with shrapnel. Plans to make these are readily available on the internet.”

The attack in Boston was the first such bombing in the United States since 9/11.

For Jim Murphy, the UK Labor Party’s top defense official, the attack immediately brought back memories of the 7/7 attacks on the London mass transit system in 2005.

“Here in London there’s a sense of shock,” he said. “There’s a sense of shock across the whole of the U.K.”

London Marathon is set to be held this Sunday, and Murphy is planning to run the 26.2 miles for the first time in his life.

“There’s a real determination to, yes, review security, but continue on as normal,” Murphy said.

American security agencies will be urgently reviewing any piece of evidence that can give them an indication about the cause of Monday’s explosions – more than 24 hours later, there is still precious little information.

“First and foremost, they have to take care of the crime scene, because the crime scene is perishable,” Borelli said of law enforcement’s first steps.

“Then the videos: Surveillance cameras that are fixed to buildings, but also cameras that people have [used to take] photos and video shots,” he said. “They’ll be looking at traffic from the cell phone towers to try to put together a timeline of activity.”

In the rush to find a culprit and motivation, Borelli said the process is not unlike medical triage: Prioritize what will get you the most results, then do it.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. stacey

    I'm going to take a guess and say that this attack will be blamed on a US militia or pro-gun group. It appears that our government is starting to suggest the average US citizens are terrorist. Somebodies got to be it so I guess it's our turn. At least the Muslims will get a break. PEACE OUT

    April 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • chris

      The average US citizen is not gun touting militia nut, and yes, some of those people turn out to be terrorists. There is no defense for them.

      April 18, 2013 at 11:12 am | Reply
  2. Reinhard Kiefer

    a view from germany, the boston bombs were placed to hit at the establishment, gay rights groups and-or the boston globe reporters. all of these have been advocates against the right wing groups in boston and the state of massa..... and let us not forget, it was patriots day, what a fine day to hit out at innocent people, disgust is the best I can describe these horrid attacks. and stacey, islamic terrorists never get a break, neither there nor here, and average us citizens are certainly not labelled as terrorists by the us government, yours or not...:))

    April 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  3. jimmy lim

    All considered (photos, intention, evilness) it has to be the work of mulsim jihadists, possibly homegrown radiaclised muslims.

    April 18, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  4. jimmy lim

    I stand to b corrected. And if i am proven wrong, I shall apologise. Haha

    April 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  5. jimmy lim

    From the images/photos dont they look like middle eastern with their middle eastern features?

    April 19, 2013 at 6:22 am | Reply
  6. jimmy lim

    Sorry I got it partly wrong. They r not from middle east. They r from eastern europe, Chehnya to be precise. But Chechens are muslims. So these 2 brothers are radicalised muslim jihadists, that I got right

    April 19, 2013 at 9:09 am | Reply
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    April 19, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply

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