Firefighters take position on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon after two bombs exploded on Monday afternoon.
“This has the hallmarks of a terrorist attack,” she said. “Whether it’s homegrown or originated abroad, we don’t know. The use of improvised explosive devises, the presence of more than one devise — the horrible carnage and death and injuries — suggest that this was a carefully planned event.”
An increased security presence could be seen around Washington on Monday as a result of the events in Boston.
A statement from the U.S. Capitol Police said they are monitoring the situation in Boston and are “in constant contact with our local and national law enforcement partners as it pertains to the events.”
Immediately following Obama’s remarks from the White House, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, a Democrat, held a news conference flanked by city law enforcement officials including Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier.
“We have been monitoring the situation in Boston and any possible consequences for the District since shortly after this tragic incident occurred, and our public safety officials and I are in close contact with all our federal and regional partners,” Gray told reporters.
Gray said that apart from the vicinity surrounding the White House, no streets or areas in the District have been closed off to the public at this time. Lanier added that the department had not received any threats and that it was not currently investigating any incidents that would appear to be even remotely tied to the events in Boston earlier in the day. Increasing the security presence around the city, Lanier explained, is typical when any violent event or attack takes place elsewhere in the country or the world, given D.C.’s unique status as the nation’s capital. The department’s alert status, she continued, stays in effect until it becomes clear that the city is not another target.
The decision to ramp up security comes at a time of year when the city is playing host to scores of tourists and outside visitors who every spring take advantage of school vacations to see the sights and the famous cherry blossoms.
Both Massachusetts senators and lawmakers from across the country weighed in Monday afternoon through Twitter and in statements.
“Monitoring the scene back home. My thoughts and prayers are with the injured and everyone at @bostonmarathon, in Boston and in Mass.,” tweeted Sen. William “Mo” Cowan, D-Mass. Cowan was appointed to the Senate earlier this year by Patrick, whom he previously served as chief of staff.
Cowan will serve in the Senate until a new senator is chosen in a special election prompted by the resignation of longtime Sen. John Kerry to become secretary of State. Democratic Reps. Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch both suspended campaign activity in the wake of the incident. Lynch and Markey are scheduled to square off in an April 30 Democratic primary.
The marathon, which takes place on the Patriots’ Day holiday in Massachusetts, is one of the great annual events not just for the city, but for all of New England. Other senators from the region were among the first to weigh in.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.