President Obama was cautious about using the loaded word in his first address in the few hours after the bombing last night, but this morning reported that the FBI is now investigating the attack as the “act of terrorism” that it was. From the WFB:
I’ve just been briefed by my national security team, including FBI Director Mueller… on the attacks in Boston. We continue to mobilize and deploy all appropriate law enforcement resources to protect our citizens and to investigate and to respond to this attack. Obviously, our first thoughts this morning are with the victims, their families, and the city of Boston. We know that two explosions gravely wounded dozens of Americans and took the lives of others, including an eight year old boy. 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. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror. What we don’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. … It will take time to follow every lead and determine what happened, but we will find out. We will find whoever harmed our citizens, and we will bring them to justice. We also know this: The American people refuse to be terrorized.
The president went on to mention the countless acts of kindness that occurred in the aftermath, from the bystanders and first responders rushing to attend the wounded to the marathoners continuing right on to hospitals to donate blood. (‘Murika.)
His new SecDef Hagel said much the same thing earlier in his own comments about the first successful explosive-driven terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11, iterating that any incident with explosive devices is going to be treated as such:
Like all Americans, the thoughts and prayers of our people at DoD and all of Washington are with the people in Boston today, especially the families and the victims and those injured by what appears to be a cruel act of terror. As the president said yesterday, we still do not know who did this or why, and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign or domestic. It’s important not to jump to conclusions before we have all the facts, but as the White House said last night, any event with multiple explosive devices, as this appears to be, is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror.