‘WORLDWIDE’ HUNT ON

FBI releases images of 2 Boston bombing suspects

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Photos of one of two suspects sought in the Boston Marathon bombing is displayed during a news conference talking about the investigation of the Boston Marathon explosions, Thursday, April 18, 2013, in Boston. AP PHOTO/JULIO CORTEZ

BOSTON—The FBI has released photos and video of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings and is asking for the public’s help in identifying the men.

FBI Agent Richard DesLauriers said the images are from surveillance cameras near the explosion sites shortly before Monday’s blasts at the world’s most famous marathon. The man in the white cap is seen setting down a backpack at one site near the finish line, DesLauriers said.

“No bit of information… is too small for us to see,” DesLauriers told a press conference, adding that the photos were available for public view at www.fbi.gov.

“We consider them to be armed and extremely dangerous,” DesLauriers said, asking the public not to approach the men. He said there is no additional danger that the FBI knows of at the moment.

“For more than 100 years, the FBI has relied upon the public to be its eyes and ears,” DesLauriers added. “Somebody out there knows these individuals.”

Investigators are poring over evidence gathered in the wake of the twin blasts, which killed three and wounded around 180 others.

DesLauriers said no other information would be released, telling reporters: “This is our focus now.”

The images were released hours after President Barack Obama attended an interfaith in Boston to remember the victims, including an 8-year-old boy.

2 young-looking men

The images show two young-looking men wearing baseball caps, wearing jackets and carrying backpacks along the race route and weaving through the crowd. The FBI said it had no details of the identities or origin of the two men, who were only named as Suspect One and Suspect Two. Both appeared to be young men, one dressed in a white baseball cap and one in a black cap.

This image released by the FBI on Thursday, April 18, 2013, shows an image from video what the FBI is calling suspect number 1 with a black hat walking with a backpack in Boston on Monday, April 15, 2013, before the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP PHOTO/FBI)

The men are seen in still images and video released by the FBI walking along Boston’s Boylston Street amid crowds watching the race finale. Both had large backpacks.

The FBI said the images indicated that the man in the white cap had placed one of the two bombs outside a restaurant in the street in the minutes before the blasts tore through the crowds.

“Each piece moves us toward justice,” DesLauriers said of the latest information to emerge.

Generally, law enforcement agencies release photos of suspects only as a last resort, when they need the public’s help. Releasing photos can tip off a suspect and deny police the element of surprise. It can also trigger an avalanche of tips, forcing police to waste time chasing them down.

‘Stunted individuals’

At an interfaith service honoring the victims, Obama called the perpetrators of the attack “these small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build.”

Obama vowed: “Yes, we will find you, and yes, you will face justice.”

“We will find you, we will hold you accountable,” he told a congregation of 2,000 including relatives of the dead, survivors of the blasts, rescuers and city leaders.

“If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us,” Obama said, then “it should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it.”

Obama met the family of Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old who was killed, at the cathedral before the service, and later went to Massachusetts General Hospital to talk to some of the wounded.

The blasts killed 8-year-old Martin Richard, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell and Lu Lingzi, a graduate student from China. Seven victims remained in critical condition.

Bombs packed with explosives

The bombs were crudely fashioned from ordinary kitchen pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails and ball bearings, investigators and others close to the case said. Investigators suspect the devices were then hidden in duffel bags and left on the ground.

They exploded within 15 seconds of each other near the finish line at a high-traffic time when thousands of runners were pouring in.

Several media outlets had reported that a suspect had been identified from surveillance video taken at a Lord & Taylor department store between the sites of the bomb blasts.

The investigation will probably collect about a million hours of videotape from fixed security cameras and cellphones and cameras used by spectators, said Gene Grindstaff, a scientist at Intergraph Corp., a company that makes video analysis software used by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

‘Worldwide’ hunt

The FBI says it has launched a “worldwide” hunt. But the FBI and political leaders have appealed for patience over the pace of the investigation.

The FBI had already released photographs of the mangled metal remnants of a pressure cooker believed to have been used for one of the bombs. The lid of one pressure cooker was found on the roof of a hotel near the marathon finish line.

More than 100 of the injured have left Boston hospitals and fewer than 10 of those still in hospital remain in critical condition. Some will require new operations.

At least 12 people have lost at least one of their legs because of the blast from the bombs, which fired the metal fragments at low level.

Doctors at Boston Medical Center said a second Chinese student caught in the blast had come out of a coma and was improving. The girl’s family was expected in Boston soon.

Meanwhile, a special fund set up for victims has raised more than $10 million in less than two days, local media reports said.

The One Boston Fund was set up on Tuesday by Boston mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick.

A number of major companies have already given substantial amounts. Boston Marathon sponsor John Hancock, an insurance firm, gave $1 million, the fund announced on its website, www.onefundboston.

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