From the Department of Justice
Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder on the Ongoing Investigation into Explosions in Boston
The Attorney General released the following statement today on the ongoing investigation into the explosions in Boston:
“I want to express my deepest sympathies to the victims of yesterday's heinous attack in Boston, to those who suffered injuries, and to those who lost friends and loved ones. All of you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
“As our nation struggles to make sense of this attack, I want to assure the citizens of Boston – and all Americans – that the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, and all of our federal, state, and local partners are working tirelessly to determine who was responsible for these unspeakable acts, and to make certain they are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law and by any means available to us. To this end, I have directed that the full resources of the Department be deployed to ensure that this matter is fully investigated. We will continue working closely with the Boston Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police – who have performed superbly – to respond to this tragedy, to maintain a heightened state of security, and to prevent any future attacks from occurring.
“As President Obama stated earlier today, we are treating this event as an act of terror. This morning, I met with the President and my fellow members of his national security team to discuss our continuing response. Although it is not yet clear who executed this attack, whether it was an individual or group, or whether it was carried out with support or involvement from a terrorist organization – either foreign or domestic – we will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to justice. The FBI is spearheading a multi-agency investigation through the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force. They are devoting extensive personnel and assets to this effort – and have already begun conducting exhaustive interviews, analyzing evidence recovered from the scene, and examining video footage for possible leads. In addition, the ATF is providing bomb technicians, explosives assets, and other substantial investigative support. The DEA and U.S. Marshals Service are providing further assistance. And the Office of Justice Programs will coordinate victim support that the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may request under the Anti-terrorism Emergency Assistance Program.
“As our active and comprehensive investigation unfolds, these federal assets are coordinating with prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts, the Justice Department's National Security Division, and federal agencies across the government – including members of the Intelligence Community. This matter is still in the early stages, and it's important that we let the investigation run its full course. I urge members of the public to remain calm, cooperate with law enforcement, and be vigilant. The FBI has set up a tip line – at 1-800-CALL-FBI – for anyone who has information, images, or details relating to yesterday's explosions along the Boston Marathon route. We are particularly interested in reviewing video footage captured by bystanders with cell phones or personal cameras near either of the blasts. In an investigation of this nature, no detail is too small.
“Finally, I want to recognize and thank all of the brave law enforcement officials, firefighters, National Guardsmen, medical staff, bystanders, and other first responders in Boston yesterday afternoon who heard the explosions, or received reports of casualties, or saw the shattered glass and rising smoke, and rushed to provide assistance to those in need.
“Each of these remarkable women and men placed the safety of others above their own. Their heroic actions undoubtedly saved lives. And their stories of courage and selflessness remind us that – even in our darkest moments – the American people have always displayed an extraordinary capacity for resilience. We will always be strongest when we stand united. And although today our hearts are broken, my colleagues and I are resolved to bring those responsible for this cowardly act to justice. We will be relentless in our pursuit of the individual or group that carried out this attack, while staying true to our most sacred values. And – as our investigation continues, I am confident that our nation will recover, and that we will emerge from this terrible tragedy not only safer, but stronger, than ever before.”
From the FBI
Update: FBI Response to Reports of Suspicious Letters Received at Mail Facilities
The FBI, through laboratory testing, has confirmed the presence of the toxin ricin in these letters. Further forensic examination is being conducted.
Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans, but the effects of ricin poisoning require ingestion, inhalation, or injection into the body. To date, the FBI is not aware of any illness as a result of exposure to these letters.
The FBI would like to thank our federal, state, and local partners, specifically the U.S. Capitol Police, whose efforts were instrumental in identifying Paul Kevin Curtis, who was arrested and charged with threats against the President and with other threatening communications.
- Initial FBI response to reports of suspicious letters received at mail facilities
- U.S. Attorney's Office press release concerning the charges filed against Paul Kevin Curtis
From the Department of Homeland Security
"If You See Something, Say Something" Campaign
About the Campaign
The nationwide "If You See Something, Say Something™" public awareness campaign - is a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities. The campaign was originally used by New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which has licensed the use of the slogan to DHS for anti-terrorism and anti-terrorism crime related efforts.
Homeland Security Begins with Hometown Security
If you see something suspicious taking place then report that behavior or activity to local law enforcement or in the case of emergency call 9-1-1. Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious. For that reason, the public should report only suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack in a public place or someone trying to break into a restricted area) rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations, or speech unrelated to terrorism or other criminal activity. Only reports that document behavior reasonably indicative of criminal activity related to terrorism will be shared with federal partners.
DHS is working to expand “If You See Something, Say Something ™” throughout the country by partnering with a variety of entities including: transportation systems, universities, states, cities, sports leagues and local law enforcement. If you're interested in getting your group involved please contact 202-282-8010.
Report Suspicious Activity to Local Law Enforcement or Call 9-1-1.
Our Campaign Partnerships
Public Service Announcements
Raising Public Awareness
In July 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), at Secretary Janet Napolitano's direction, launched a national "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign – a simple and effective program to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper state and local law enforcement authorities. The "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign - originally implemented by New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority and now licensed to DHS for a nationwide campaign - is a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.
The Department launches the "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign in conjunction with the Department of Justice's Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative - an administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to terrorism and terrorism-related crime; standardize how those observations are documented and analyzed; and ensure the sharing of those reports with the Federal Bureau of Investigation-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces for further investigation and Fusion Centers for analysis.
Protecting Privacy, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
A critical element of the DHS mission is ensuring that the civil rights and civil liberties of persons are not diminished by our security efforts, activities, and programs. Consequently, the "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign respects civil rights or civil liberties by emphasizing behavior, rather than appearance, in identifying suspicious activity.
Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious. For that reason, the public should report only suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack in a public place or someone trying to break into a restricted area) rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations, or speech unrelated to terrorism or other criminal activity. Only reports that document behavior reasonably indicative of criminal activity related to terrorism will be shared with federal partners.
Strengthening Hometown Security
Both the "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign and the NSI underscore the concept that homeland security begins with hometown security. An alert public plays a critical role in keeping our nation safe. Strengthening hometown security involves creating partnerships across numerous states as well as the private sector.
Recent expansions of the "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign include partnerships with numerous sports teams and leagues, transportation agencies, private sector partners, states, cities and universities. DHS also has Public Service Announcements which have been distributed to television and radio stations across the country. The campaign will continue to be expanded in the coming weeks and months.