President Obama today clearly defined the bombings in Boston as an “act of terror,” saying the FBI was investigating the incident as such and suggesting that Americans should be watchful in the days ahead in case the attack is not over.
“This was a heinous and cowardly act, and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism,” Obama said during an appearance in the White House briefing room scheduled late this morning. “Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.”
Obama had resisted calling the bombings terrorism Monday, a cautious approach that put him behind the curve. But with today’s statement, Obama reassumed a leadership position and sought to rally and alert the country in the face of what is clearly a terrorist attack.
Consistent with an approach that considers the attacks terrorism, Obama said the government will provide regular briefings, promising the government will “remain vigilant” and urging citizens to report suspicious activity.
Nevertheless, Obama said it was unclear whether the acts were committed by an individual or group, what their grievance was, or whether they are domestically based or from overseas. “We’re at the beginning of our investigation,” he said.
Obama again vowed to apprehend whoever is behind the bombings.
“We will find out, we will find whoever harmed our citizens, and we will bring them to justice,” he said.
The president lauded the courage of the people in Boston who responded to the attacks by aiding the victims, saying it shows Americans stand up to terror. “The American people refuse to be terrorized,” he said. “If you want to know who we are , what America is, how we respond to evil – that’s it: Selflessly, compassionately, unafraid.”