WBEZ | boston marathon http://www.wbez.org/tags/boston-marathon Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en This is what Islamophobia looks like http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-04/what-islamophobia-looks-106762 <p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt; text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/399572_10100381628800107_1331819420_n_0.jpg" title="(Twitter)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Even before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured last Friday, people have been quick to <a href="http://www.islamophobiatoday.com/2013/04/16/worst-reactions-to-the-boston-explosions/" target="_blank">assign blame</a> for the explosions in Boston, assuaging their fears by holding someone responsible.</p><p dir="ltr">After rounding up the usual suspects, like Obama and the homosexuals, the sights were quickly pointed at Muslims. In response The Washington Post&rsquo;s Max Fisher&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/04/15/please-dont-be-a-muslim-boston-marathon-blasts-draw-condemnation-and-dread-in-muslim-world/" target="_blank">reported</a> that in the hours following the blasts, Muslims across the world quickly denounced the act, begging those responsible not to be Muslims. Fisher writes,</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Libyan families waved signs in Arabic and English reading &lsquo;Benghazi is against Terrorism,&rsquo; &lsquo;Thugs and killers don&rsquo;t represent Benghazi nor Islam,&rsquo; &lsquo;Chris Stevens was a Friend To all Libyans.&rsquo;...A similar demonstration soon gathered in Tripoli. The tone at both rallies was positive and pro-American, but there was a second, subtler message being sent to the United States: We&rsquo;re on your side, not theirs.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">The goal was to eschew radicalism by <a href="https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/399572_10100381628800107_1331819420_n.jpg" target="_blank">pointing out</a> that &ldquo;Muslims view &lsquo;Islamic extremists&rsquo; the same way most Christians view the Westboro Baptist Church.&rdquo; However, Muslims abroad and at home were also worried that Islamic involvement would incite the waves of Islamophobic attacks we saw after Park51, the community center in Lower Manhattan, was announced.</p><p dir="ltr">They wouldn&#39;t have to wait long for an answer. The day after the attack professional Islamophobe Pamela Geller was already trying to pin Boston on Muslims,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.islamophobiatoday.com/2013/04/16/worst-reactions-to-the-boston-explosions/">labelling the act</a> one of violent &ldquo;jihad.&rdquo; When @EliClifton attempted to call her out for being a bigot, Geller tweeted back that the &ldquo;blood [is] on your hands.&rdquo; According to Geller, anyone who tries to defend Muslims is as responsible as they are.</p><p dir="ltr">Sadly, her logic reflected the harsh reality of police profiling after the Boston attacks. A New Yorker&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/04/the-saudi-marathon-man.html" target="_blank">article</a> detailed the way one runner&rsquo;s apartment was torn apart by the FBI while his neighbors watched, helpless to stop it. The man&rsquo;s body was ripped to shreds by the explosion, a victim like many others that day.</p><p dir="ltr">What made him different from the others who were also treated in the hospital? What made him a suspect? He was Saudi.</p><p dir="ltr">However, Boston isn&rsquo;t alone in this. A Salon&nbsp;<a href="http://www.salon.com/2013/03/11/new_yorks_finest_islamophobes/" target="_blank">article</a> from March profiled the recent wave of Islamophobic surveillance in the NYPD police department. A report from the police force, called &quot;Mapping Muslims,&quot; indicated that the &ldquo;harassment and violations of civil liberties are constant facts of life for American Muslims today.&rdquo; Salon&#39;s Falguni A. Sheth calls the program &ldquo;dangerous, divisive, discriminatory, and deeply oppressive.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">This is the new culture of internment for Muslims. Despite being a citizen, Tsarnaev won&rsquo;t even be read his <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/closeread/2013/04/what-happened-to-the-miranda-warning-in-boston.html" target="_blank">Miranda rights</a>, and some are using his citizenship to argue for stricter&nbsp;<a href="http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/04/19/tsarnayev_brothers_already_impacting_immigration_debate" target="_blank">immigration laws</a>. We are trying to systemically take away the few rights he has as a criminal, those allegedly offered to everyone guilty of a crime in the United States. You can tell a lot about a people by how they treat those they perceive as their enemies.</p><p dir="ltr">What does <a href="http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/04/the_post-boston_islamophobic_hate_crimes_have_begun.html" target="_blank">Islamophobia</a> say about us? On Tuesday, a plane departing from Logan Airport in Boston was delayed after two of the passengers began to speak Arabic to each other. The following day, still two days prior to Tsarnaev&rsquo;s capture, a Bangladeshi man was jumped outside of an Applebee&rsquo;s and a Palestinian woman was assaulted in Medford, Mass.</p><p dir="ltr">While she was walking down the street with her friend, a white man came up to Hema Abolaban, a local physician, and started harassing her. He shouted, &ldquo;F*** you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions!&rdquo; He then punched Abolaban and kept insulting her as he walked away.</p><p dir="ltr">Abolaban claims that she didn&rsquo;t say anything back to him, which is understandable. What do you say to someone who believes that you&rsquo;re capable of unimaginable crimes, including the death of an 8-year-old child, because of the simple fact of your religion? All Americans were Bostonians last week. Why couldn&rsquo;t that include Muslims?</p><p dir="ltr">Every year, as many people are killed by their <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/americans-are-as-likely-to-be-killed-by-their-own-furniture-as-by-terrorism/258156/" target="_blank">household furniture</a> as they are by&nbsp;<a href="http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/04/16/why-we-fear-terrorism/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+andrewsullivan%2FrApM+The+Dish" target="_blank">terrorism</a>, but we are not as concerned with the private, death by ottoman. We fear public terror, as fueled by footage of Newtown, Aurora, Hurricane Sandy and the threat of North Korea. In <em>Mao II</em>, Don DeLillo wrote that popular images of terror provide us with &ldquo;an unremitting mood of catastrophe. This is where we find emotional experience not available elsewhere...We don&rsquo;t even need catastrophes, necessarily. We only need the reports and predictions and warnings.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">In an essay for The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/04/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-is-found.html" target="_blank">echoed</a> DeLillo&rsquo;s discourse of fear:</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The toxic combination of round-the-clock cable television&mdash;does anyone now recall the killer of Gianni Versace, who claimed exactly the same kind of attention then as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did today?&mdash;and an already exaggerated sense of the risk of terrorism turned a horrible story of maiming and death and cruelty into a national epic of fear. What terrorists want is to terrify people; Americans always oblige.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">If the Tzarnaev brothers wanted to scare us, they hit us at the right time, when Americans are particularly vulnerable. We look at Congress&rsquo; inability to pass wildly popular gun control laws and feel powerless, the product of a broken system that no longer protects us. Every Boston is an affirmation of cultural pessimism, an empire in slow decline. Terrorists become ciphers for phantom neuroses we dare not name, and due to the role of Islamic extremism in 9/11, Islamophobia acts as the easy emotional shortcut for our feelings of loss.</p><p dir="ltr">As a culture, we often focus on the extremists who are destroying the world, rather than the everyday people who are working to make it better &mdash; like the countless millions whose thoughts were with the victims in Boston or <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl6k-qBlnG0" target="_blank">Kevin James</a>, the Muslim firefighter who was a first responder at Ground Zero. In a tragedy, Mr. Rogers famously advised, &ldquo;Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Patton Oswalt&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/04/patton-oswalt-on-the-boston-marathon-bombing/275015/" target="_blank">echoed</a> Rogers&rsquo; sentiments. Oswalt&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patton-oswalt/patton-oswalt_b_3088337.html" target="_blank">wrote</a>, &ldquo;You watch the videos of the carnage, and there are people running towards the destruction to help out.&rdquo; For Oswalt, it&rsquo;s a reminder to &ldquo;look [evil] in the eye and think, &lsquo;The good outnumber you, and we always will.&rsquo;&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">This is how the world begins again &mdash; when we remember we aren&#39;t alone in it.</p><p dir="ltr">Take Marie Roberts. After her husband&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/14/AR2006101400510.html" target="_blank">gunned down</a> five children in an Amish school in 2006, Roberts went to the victims&rsquo; families to seek forgiveness and grace. In doing so, Roberts found strangers she learned to call neighbors, families she learned to call friends and a community she could call home again. There was no going back, but in building a bridge over the destruction, their families figured out a way to move forward.</p><p dir="ltr">Instead of continuing to hold Muslims responsible, we should ask what what we do if the culprits were &quot;one of us.&quot; How would we help? Would we reach out as Muslims have? Would we shut down a city to hold a candlelight vigil, as Tehran did to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=44b_1359356589&amp;comments=1" target="_blank">support Americans</a> after 9/11? Instead of forcing a nation of Muslims to be accountable for two radicals, we must all take responsibility for Boston. Each of us must clean up the mess by working together as a force for good, building a more peaceful, loving world.</p><p dir="ltr">Instead of searching for enemies in the wreckage, we need to start creating allies. All around the world, Muslims are standing with us. It&rsquo;s time to stand with them.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Nico Lang writes about LGBTQ issues in Chicago. You can follow Nico on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/nicorlang">Facebook</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.twitter.com/nico_lang">Twitter</a> or&nbsp;<a href="http://achatwithnicolang.tumblr.com/">Tumblr</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 04:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-04/what-islamophobia-looks-106762 For some, Boston news coverage highlights need for Muslims in the media http://www.wbez.org/news/some-boston-news-coverage-highlights-need-muslims-media-106753 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP65997749651.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As details continue to emerge about the two brothers suspected of planting bombs at the Boston Marathon on Monday, many American Muslims are processing the treatment that this story has gotten in the mainstream news media. The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia, but little is still known about their motives or other affiliations.</p><p>Even before the suspects were identified, news shows and commentary programs on outlets such as Fox News, CNN and Glenn Beck speculated that the perpetrator of the attack was Saudi, Arab, &ldquo;dark-skinned,&rdquo; or Muslim. Fox News pundit Erik Rush provoked particular outcry when he tweeted &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s kill them all,&rdquo; in response to a message about Muslims &mdash;a tweet that he later said was sarcastic.</p><p>&ldquo;[The] Islamophobia machine is out there, it&rsquo;s well-funded, well-oiled,&rdquo; said Abdul Malik Mujahid, a Chicago-area imam and founder of SoundVision, an Islamic educational media organization. &ldquo;Muslims have a responsibility to move forward and use the media which they have the freedom to use to say their opinion.&rdquo;</p><p>Mujahid said the coverage has bolstered his belief that Muslims need to play a bigger role in crafting media coverage, whether by creating their own media outlets or by joining the newsrooms of existing ones. It&rsquo;s a battle that Mujahid began nearly ten years ago, with the launching of Radio Islam, a daily, current affairs program that streams online and at 6 p.m. nightly on WCEV 1450AM.</p><p>A recent show focused on Muslims who were at the Boston Marathon as runners or as first responders. Mujahid said the idea is to counter <a href="http://www.pewforum.org/Muslim/Public-Remains-Conflicted-Over-Islam.aspx" target="_blank">a trend toward unfavorable attitudes toward Muslims.</a></p><p>&ldquo;Despite the fact that Muslims have done a lot of effort to reach out to their neighbors, [perceptions of] Muslims and Islam in America continue to go on the negative side,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>In the wake of the Boston coverage, Mujahid has stepped up a call for donations to expand Radio Islam&rsquo;s programming. He wants to build a new studio downtown to increase the amount of programming, as well as foster the training of Muslim journalists.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve made this switch from more of a victim mentality, more of this idea of please don&rsquo;t beat me up, and kind of scared and not knowing what to expect, as opposed to now taking a more confident and proactive position,&rdquo; said Asma Uddin, an attorney at the Becket Foundation for Religious Liberty and the founder of Altmuslimah, a blog about gender and Islam.</p><p>Uddin said since 9/11, more Muslims have started to think like Mujahid, focusing on how to disseminate their stories through the media. She said she saw the effect of that in the media coverage of the Boston bombings. Although some news outlets rushed to connect the attack to Islam, she said many more were careful not to jump to conclusions.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s become increasingly sophisticated, and part of that, is because Muslims are speaking up and nuancing people&rsquo;s perceptions,&rdquo; Mujahid said.</p><p>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="http://twitter.com/oyousef" target="_blank">@oyousef </a>and @<a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud" target="_blank">WBEZoutloud</a>.</p></p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 20:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/some-boston-news-coverage-highlights-need-muslims-media-106753 After Boston marathon bombing, victims have more options for prosthetic limbs http://www.wbez.org/news/after-boston-marathon-bombing-victims-have-more-options-prosthetic-limbs-106684 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/280-AMP.jpg" style="float: left;" title="A bionic leg. Chicago-area researchers are involved in some of the most cutting-edge technology for amputees. (Flickr/Jeffrey Ross)" />Monday&rsquo;s Boston marathon bombing wounded more than 170 people and several have had limbs amputated in emergency surgery; at least four at Massachusetts General Hospital alone. While losing a limb can be a traumatic experience, some Chicago-area doctors say the consequences of amputation have greatly improved in recent decades with advances in prosthetic technology.</p><p>&ldquo;There are so many people that are amputees that live a normal life, and ... you really don&rsquo;t even know [they&rsquo;re amputees] unless they tell you,&rdquo; said David King, a prosthetist at Chicago&rsquo;s Acme Orthotic and Prosthetic Laboratory. &ldquo;The technology has come a long way.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago is home to cutting-edge research on prosthetics that is changing the outlook for some amputees. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is involved with the development of mind-controlled limbs, which are already on the market. (<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/04/health/illinois-bionic-leg">The institute&rsquo;s bionic leg made news last year when a man climbed Chicago&rsquo;s Willis Tower with one</a>.)</p><p>And Sliman Bensmaia, a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago and part of a national research project called Revolutionizing Prosthetics, is helping to develop prosthetics that can simulate feeling by transmitting messages back to the brain. That&rsquo;s called sensory feedback, and upper limb functions are particularly dependent on that feedback.</p><p>&ldquo;Without it everything that we would do would be extremely effortful, clumsy and slow,&rdquo; said Bensmaia. For example, limbs with sensation would allow amputees to closely control grip; without that control, it can be more practical to use a high-tech hook than a prosthetic hand. But there&rsquo;s another benefit to the new technology Bensmaia is working on.</p><p>&ldquo;We feel our own limb as part of ourselves,&rdquo; said Bensmaia. Which is why some have compared the sensation of losing a limb to losing a loved one. By developing sensory limbs patients could feel more connected to the prosthesis itself. The project plans to test-run its sensory prosthetics on real people within a year.</p><p>But there&rsquo;s more to amputation than just getting the right technology on the market. For victims like&nbsp; those injured in the Boston marathon blast, getting used to a prosthesis may require months of physical therapy and emotional adjustment. Then there&rsquo;s the ;potential cost: top-of-the-line artificial limbs are not included in a lot of insurance plans.</p><p>&ldquo;Private insurance is the best insurance to have,&rdquo; said King. Veterans get the best technology through VA insurance, but when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid patients, he said, &ldquo;the government won&rsquo;t always pay for the good stuff.&rdquo; He&rsquo;s had patients pay for upgrades in installments, and he said some volunteer for product testing workshops with manufacturers in exchange for free parts.</p><p>Still, even the most basic prosthetics are lighter and easier to use than a few decades ago, and King says his patients are often surprised by the results after a few months of physical therapy and training.</p><p>The total number of amputees in the U.S. is estimated at 1.7 million, the majority as a result of diseases like diabetes.</p><p><em>Lewis Wallace is a Pritzker Journalism Fellow at WBEZ. Follow him&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/lewispants" target="_blank">@lewispants</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/after-boston-marathon-bombing-victims-have-more-options-prosthetic-limbs-106684 After Boston, reflecting on sports tragedies http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/after-boston-reflecting-sports-tragedies-106682 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_michael_dwyer_boston_marathon.jpg" style="float: right; height: 212px; width: 300px;" title="A marathon runner in the aftermath of the Boston boming. (AP/File)" />I&rsquo;ve spent time in troubled places.</p><p>I learned to be cautious about my surroundings as a student in Austin High School during the race riots of late &#39;60s and early &#39;70s. You never get used to it, but you figure out how to be safe.</p><p>In 1981, I visited my sister in turbulent Northern Ireland.</p><p>When we approached the border from the Republic of Ireland there was no sign posted indicating the divide. But several British soldiers stopped the car, pointed rifles to our heads and asked for our passports before we could proceed. We drove through bombed out Belfast and saw what hatred and violence could do to a city. I made a choice to visit Belfast even though knowing there was danger, but took all the precautions necessary to deal with the surroundings.</p><p>But I never expected my safety to be in question at a sporting event.</p><p>I was in Atlanta as a spectator at the 1996 Summer Olympics. My husband and I joined tourists from all over the world at Centennial Park on July 27. Less than an hour after we left, a bomb killed one woman and injured more than 100 more.</p><p>The games continued with heightened security and increased military presence. It made us feel safer, but not completely safe. It changed my sense of safety surrounding major sporting events. September 11 changed it even more. Now there&rsquo;s is no issue in my mind to having my bags checked and media credentials scrutinized.</p><p>Technology is changing the way we view tragedies too.</p><p>The Munich Massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics is etched the memories of the people that watched the horror unfold on television. Who could forget Jim McKay giving the news about the murders of the Israeli wrestling team?</p><p>But we didn&rsquo;t see the carnage on our screens, and information and specifics took a long time to be revealed.</p><p>The bombing at Monday&rsquo;s Boston Marathon, like September 11, was viewed as it unfolded. Social media is a flurry of activity, spreading good information and bad.</p><p>The iconic sporting event will now always be known for the bombing. It&rsquo;s another sad chapter in sports. I wish we could close the book on these terrible incidents. But we can&rsquo;t. We must think at every sporting event big or small: see something, say something.<br /><br />Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestou" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a>.&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/after-boston-reflecting-sports-tragedies-106682 Emanuel: ‘No threat to Chicago,’ marathon will go on http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-%E2%80%98no-threat-chicago%E2%80%99-marathon-will-go-106680 <p><p>Chicago City Hall was quiet on Tuesday as Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that &ldquo;there is no threat to (the city).&rdquo; Security officials around the city and at its two major airports, however, remain on alert following deadly twin bomb blasts at <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/boston-bombs-said-be-made-pressure-cookers-106656">yesterday&rsquo;s Boston Marathon</a>.<br /><br />Even though Emanuel reiterated there is no &ldquo;credible threat&rdquo; to the city, he urged Chicagoans to keep their eyes open for anything suspicious. The mayor said he met this morning at City Hall with his top cabinet officials in the police and fire departments, as well as the head of the city&rsquo;s emergency communications center.<br /><br />Emanuel added he called Boston Mayor Thomas Menino yesterday to offer his support, following the bombings that have killed three people and injured more than 170 near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.<br /><br />&ldquo;While it was a horrific event, it showed the best of this country,&rdquo; Emanuel said, adding: &ldquo;I think everybody was heartfelt for the residents of the city of Boston, so I wanted to make sure that they knew that our resources were available if they needed them.&rdquo;<br /><br />Security at Chicago&rsquo;s City Hall didn&rsquo;t seem stricter than normal Tuesday, save for the presence of two Chicago cops on horseback who were stationed on LaSalle Street. The Chicago Police Department did not immediately offer details as to what additional security measures might be in place.</p><p>Emanuel also insisted the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, set for October 13, will go ahead as planned. In a statement Tuesday, Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said race organizers have been in contact with the city&rsquo;s public safety agencies since yesterday&rsquo;s bombings.</p><p>&ldquo;As our top priority, we work in lockstep with these agencies to ensure the safest possible event for everyone involved. As we do each year and throughout the year, we will sit down with these agencies and conduct a comprehensive security review as part of the planning process for this year&rsquo;s event,&rdquo; the statement reads.</p><p>Meanwhile, security adjustments at area airports were more overt.<br /><br />&ldquo;Passengers traveling through Chicago&rsquo;s airports today may notice a more visible presence of Chicago police officers, canine units and aviation security officers,&rdquo; Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Gregg Cunningham explained.<br /><br />Cunningham said the department would continue to work closely with local and federal agencies on safety and security matters.<br /><br />The Department of Homeland Security said it would continue to keep in place enhanced security measures at transportation hubs. Meanwhile the Transportation Security Administration is set to allow airline passengers to carry small folding knives on planes later this month.<br /><br />The policy change is the first shift of its kind since the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.</p><p><em>Al Keefe is a WBEZ reporter. Follow him at <a href="http://twitter.com/akeefe">@akeefe</a>. </em></p></p> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 17:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-%E2%80%98no-threat-chicago%E2%80%99-marathon-will-go-106680 Obama: 'American people refuse to be terrorized' http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-american-people-refuse-be-terrorized-106660 <p><p>WASHINGTON &nbsp;&mdash; President Barack Obama said Tuesday the deadly Boston Marathon bombings were an act of terrorism but investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international or domestic organization, or perhaps by a &quot;malevolent individual.&quot;</p><p>In his second public statement in less than 24 hours since the explosions, the president said, &quot;Clearly we are at the beginning of our investigation.&quot; He urged anyone with information relating to the events to contact authorities.</p><p>Individuals briefed on the probe said the two bombs were made up of pressure cookers, one packed with ball bearings and the other with shards of metal, presumably to inflict maximum injuries.</p><p>Obama said investigators &quot;don&#39;t have a sense of motivation yet&quot; as they begin to evaluate the attack in which three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 were wounded.</p><p>Despite the loss of life and limb, Obama declared, &quot;The American people refuse to be terrorized.&quot;</p><p>As he had on Monday, he said those responsible for the attacks would be brought to justice.</p><p>The president had avoided labeling the incident a terrorist attack when he stood at the same White House lectern shortly after the explosions. Members of Congress quickly concluded on Monday afternoon that&#39;s what it was, and White House officials said the FBI was investigating the attack as a terror incident.</p><p>The administration&#39;s public assessment began to shift when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress in a morning appearance that the attacks were &quot;a cruel act of terror.&quot;</p><p>Appearing on television a short while afterward, Obama said the events in Boston were a &quot;heinous cowardly act, and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror. What we don&#39;t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why. Whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual. That&#39;s what we don&#39;t yet know.&quot;</p><p>The president praised those who had come to the aid of the injured.</p><p>&quot;If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that&#39;s it: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid,&quot; he said.</p><p>Obama stepped to the microphone after receiving a briefing at the White House from Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other top aides.</p><p>The bombs exploded on Monday afternoon near the finish line of the famed Boston Marathon, an annual 26 mile race through the neighborhoods of the city.</p></p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 16:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-american-people-refuse-be-terrorized-106660 Boston bombs said to be made from pressure cookers http://www.wbez.org/news/boston-bombs-said-be-made-pressure-cookers-106656 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7210_AP681748281334%20%282%29-scr.jpg" style="height: 401px; width: 620px;" title="Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP)" /></p><p>BOSTON &mdash; The bombs that ripped through the Boston Marathon crowd appear to have been fashioned out of ordinary kitchen pressure cookers, packed with nails and other fiendishly lethal shrapnel, and hidden in duffel bags left on the ground, investigators and others close to the case said Tuesday.</p><p>President Barack Obama branded the attack an act of terrorism, whether carried out by a solo bomber or group, and the FBI vowed to &quot;go to the ends of the Earth&quot; to find out who did it.</p><p>Scores of victims remained in Boston hospitals, many with grievous injuries, a day after the twin explosions near the marathon&#39;s finish line killed three people, wounded more than 170 and reawakened fears of terrorism. A 9-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy were among 17 victims listed in critical condition.</p><p>Officials found that the bombs consisted of explosives put in common 1.6-gallon pressure cookers, one containing shards of metal and ball bearings, the other packed with nails, according to a person close to the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still going on. Both bombs were stuffed into duffel bags, the person said.</p><p>At a news conference, FBI agent Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston, confirmed that investigators had found pieces of black nylon from a bag or backpack and fragments of BBs and nails, possibly contained in a pressure cooker. He said the items were sent to the FBI for analysis at Quantico, Va.</p><p>Pressure-cooker explosives have been used in international terrorism, and have been recommended for lone-wolf operatives by Al-Qaida&#39;s branch in Yemen. But information on how to make the bombs is readily found online, and U.S. officials said Americans should not rush to judgment in linking the attack to overseas terrorists.</p><p>DesLauriers said that there had been no claim of responsibility for the attack, and that the range of suspects and motives was &quot;wide open.&quot;</p><p>Throughout the day, he and other law enforcement authorities asked members of the public to come forward with any video or photos from the marathon or anything suspicious they might have witnessed, such as hearing someone express an interest in explosives or a desire to attack the marathon, or seeing someone carrying a dark heavy bag at the race.</p><p>&quot;Someone knows who did this,&quot; the FBI agent said.</p><p>The bombs exploded 10 or more seconds apart, tearing off victims&#39; limbs and spattering streets with blood, instantly turning the festive race into a hellish scene of confusion, horror and heroics.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP722040439462.jpg" style="float: right; height: 179px; width: 300px;" title="FBI agents gather near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston Tuesday, April 16, 2013. (AP)" />The blasts killed 8-year-old Martin Richard of Boston, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell of Medford, Mass., and a third victim, identified only as a graduate student at Boston University.</p><p>Doctors who treated the wounded corroborated reports that the bombs were packed with shrapnel intended to cause mayhem.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;ve removed BBs and we&#39;ve removed nails from kids. One of the sickest things for me was just to see nails sticking out of a little girl&#39;s body,&quot; said Dr. David Mooney, director of the trauma center at Boston Children&#39;s Hospital.</p><p>At Massachusetts General Hospital, all four amputations performed there were above the knee, with no hope of saving more of the legs, said Dr. George Velmahos, chief of trauma surgery.</p><p>&quot;It wasn&#39;t a hard decision to make,&quot; he said. &quot;We just completed the ugly job that the bomb did.&quot;</p><p>Obama plans to visit Boston on Thursday to attend an interfaith service in honor of the victims. He has traveled four times to cities reeling from mass violence, most recently in December after the schoolhouse shooting in Newtown, Conn.</p><p>In the wake of the attack, security was stepped up around the White House and across the country. Police massed at federal buildings and transit centers in the nation&#39;s capital, critical response teams deployed in New York City, and security officers with bomb-sniffing dogs spread through Chicago&#39;s Union Station.</p><p>Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urged Americans &quot;to be vigilant and to listen to directions from state and local officials.&quot; But she said there was no evidence the bombings were part of a wider plot.</p><p>Pressure-cooker explosives have been used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, according to a July 2010 intelligence report by the FBI and the Homeland Security Department. One of the three devices used in the May 2010 Times Square attempted bombing was a pressure cooker, the report said.</p><p>&quot;Placed carefully, such devices provide little or no indication of an impending attack,&quot; the report said.</p><p>Investigators said they have not yet determined what was used to set off the Boston explosives. Typically, these bombs have an initiator, switch and explosive charge, according to a 2004 warning from Homeland Security.</p><p>&quot;We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime, and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice,&quot; the FBI&#39;s DesLauriers said.</p><p>The Pakistani Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the 2010 attempt in Times Square, has denied any part in the Boston Marathon attack.</p><p>Al-Qaida&#39;s branch in Yemen gave a detailed description of how to make a bomb using a pressure cooker in a 2010 issue of Inspire, its English-language online publication aimed at would-be terrorists acting alone.</p><p>In a chapter titled &quot;Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom,&quot; it says &quot;the pressurized cooker is the most effective method&quot; for making a simple bomb, and it provides directions.</p><p>Naser Jason Abdo, a former U.S. soldier, was sentenced to life in prison last year after being convicted of planning to use a pair of bombs made from pressure cookers in an attack on a Texas restaurant frequented by soldiers from nearby Fort Hood. He was found with the Inspire article.</p><p>Investigators are also combing surveillance tapes from businesses around the finish line and asking travelers at Boston&#39;s Logan Airport to share any photos or video that might help.</p><p>&quot;This is probably one of the most photographed areas in the country yesterday,&quot; said Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis. He said two security sweeps of the marathon route had been conducted before the bombing.</p><p>Boston police and firefighter unions announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to arrests.</p><p>Obama said officials do not know who carried out the attack or why &mdash; &quot;whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual.&quot;</p><p>But he said &quot;any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.&quot; And he declared: &quot;The American people refuse to be terrorized.&quot;</p><p>___</p><p>Sullivan reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Steve LeBlanc, Bridget Murphy, Rodrique Ngowi and Meghan Barr in Boston; Julie Pace and Lara Jakes in Washington; Paisley Dodds in London; Lee Keath in Cario; and Marilynn Marchione in Milwaukee contributed to this report along with researcher Randy Herschaft in New York.</p></p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 14:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/boston-bombs-said-be-made-pressure-cookers-106656