FBI gives its agents images TWO Boston bombing 'suspects'

2013-04-18 00:00

DAILY MAIL - Federal law enforcement officials are distributing pictures of two men they consider to be of 'high interest' in relation to Monday's Boston marathon bombing and who are considered 'possible suspects'.

A circular designated for 'law enforcement eyes only' sent out on Wednesday evening by authorities includes clear photographs of the two men and is being shared around police and federal agents 'in an attempt to identify the individuals'.

According to a reporter who has viewed the images, one of the men is wearing a backpack that matches one of the recovered bags believed to be have been used in the terror attack - while the other individual also is seen to have a bag.

The pictures have been seen by CNN and Fox News and both organizations have declined to air the images for fear of jeopardizing the investigation - at the end of a day which saw them heavily chastised by the FBI for issuing incorrect reports that law enforcement had arrested a suspect in connection with Monday's bombings.

Both networks have been informed that authorities have not yet identified the two men by name and that releasing the images to the public has not been considered as a strategy just yet.

This news is the latest development of a twisting and confusing day for the public, news organizations and federal law enforcement - during which it was thought that only one suspect was being sought by the authorities in connection with the terror attack which killed three and injured over 180

Indeed, by early evening it had been confirmed by Reuters that authorities had identified an individual seen on security video outside the Lord and Taylor department store at the finishing line of the marathon.

According to Reuters, a law enforcement source confirmed that the FBI wants to speak to the man seen on cameras outside the department store which reportedly show this man planting the second bomb while talking on his cellphone.

Investigators say the man is seen at the site of the second explosion wearing a black jacket, a grey hooded sweatshirt, about 6 feet or 6-feet-2-inches tall with a medium build and a white or off-color-white baseball cap backwards placing a back-pack on the ground.

The video obtained by the FBI captures this lone man using his cellphone at the moment the first explosion detonated 100 yards away on Boylston Street on Monday and 12 seconds before the second blast close to where he is standing.

It has not been confirmed yet if this individual is one of the two men whose images are now being circulated around law enforcement officials.

However, according to CBS investigators are now going through cell phone logs to determine who made calls from that location near the time of the explosions.

Other sources have said the FBI is working with a list of names of cell phone owners and attempting to match one of those to the unknown man on the surveillance.

Authorities have said they are seeking this man either as a witness or indeed as a possible suspect and do not know his name. At this point, federal officials stressed no arrests have been made.

City Council President Stephen Murphy, who said he was briefed by Boston police, said investigators saw the image on surveillance footage they got from a department store near the finish line and matched the findings with witness descriptions of someone leaving the scene.

'I know it's very active and very fluid right now — that they are on the chase,' Murphy said. He added: 'They may be on the verge of arresting someone, and that's good.'

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 black duffel bags and left on the ground.

As a result, they were looking for images of someone lugging a dark, heavy bag.

One department store video 'has confirmed that a suspect is seen dropping a bag near the point of the second explosion and heading off,' Murphy said.

A law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity confirmed only that investigators had an image of a potential suspect whose name was not known to them and who had not been questioned.

And according to CBS News senior correspondent John Miller the big debate right now among law enforcement is whether to release the images of the men to the public.

'It's been a tough call,' said Miller. 'For investigators, there's always a difficult choice because if the person doesn't know you're looking for him, he may stay in place, you may catch up to him,' said Miller.

'If he does know you're looking for him, he may run. On the other hand, if you don't get him, it's always great to enlist 20 million or so more eyes in the public who may be able to give you a location right away.

'That's not going to happen tonight anymore. It was going to happen earlier -- they've rethought that. It may happen with the release of that picture tomorrow. They're reassessing.'

A press conference due to be held at 5 p.m. by Boston police commissioner Ed Davis was postponed - no reason was given for this decision and it was not re-scheduled.

And by late afternoon there were conflicting reports about the color of the man in question - CNN suggested initially that he may be 'dark skinned', while CBS News claimed he is white.

In the flurry of confusing reports that emanated from the media today, it was initially believed a suspect had been arrested and was being taken to court but White House officials later denied that anyone had been take into custody or even positively identified.

CNN - who broke the arrest news - later backtracked and said it had been a misunderstanding and no arrest had been made

However, the Associated Press stood by their reports that someone was taken into custody, even after it was widely disputed - they later confirmed their report was incorrect.

However, earlier on Wednesday afternoon the LA Times said two suspects have been singled out in surveillance videos of the scene - which is what was being widely reported by the end of the day.

A federal official said he has been briefed that authorities believe a second video or photo showed 'two men with two backpacks'.

Though CNN's John King said sources told him it was a 'dark-skinned man', CBS reported that it was a white man who was wearing a black jacket, a gray hooded sweatshirt and a white or off-white baseball cap backwards. He is said to be six feet or 6-feet-2-inches tall with a medium build.

However, federal officials vehemently denied that anyone had been taken into custod

'Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack,' Boston police said from an official Twitter account.

The FBI added: 'Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.'

Soon after the false arrest stories from CNN were reported, a bomb threat was called into the federal courthouse and the building - as well as the surrounding area - was evacuated.

Amateur pictures taken by someone in a nearby office building may show the man responsible running away from the scene - though this is only speculation.

'I went to the window and I was looking in the direction of the finish line. I saw simultaneously a runner go down, a huge explosion, and then a deafening roar,' Benjamin Thorndike said. 'I had my camera in my hand, and I just pushed the rapid-shutter button down and just took 25 pictures over the course of what felt like a long time, but I think it was only 15 or 20 seconds.'

He added that he thought it was strange that the man was running away from the scene while everyone else was instinctively crouched down and taking cover.

It also emerged on Wednesday that the force of the first blast at the marathon was so strong, the lid of the pressure cooker bomb was found on the sixth-floor roof of a hotel 35 yards away from the explosion site and is now a vital clue in the investigation.

A guest at the Charlesmark Hotel discovered the crucial piece of evidence just minutes after the blast. He picked up the twisted metal – believing it was a hubcap from a vehicle damaged in the bomb – and gave it to a policeman.

Twenty-four hours later he was quizzed by FBI agents, who revealed the mangled metal was one of biggest clues so far in the search for the terrorists who killed three and injured 183 others

Hotel owner Mark Hagopian said: 'One of the guests had been up on the roof earlier in the day. Immediately after the blast he went back up there and spotted what he thought was a hub cap.

'As it hadn’t been there earlier he thought it could have come from a damaged car, so he picked it up and took it downstairs.

'He handed it to a policeman and thought nothing more of it until the FBI contacted him and hotel manager Curt Butcher on Tuesday evening.

'They met for 35 minutes and the FBI confirmed that it was part of the pressure cooker bomb.'

Hogopian, 50, was hosting a marathon party for 100 people when the first bomb exploded on Monday afternoon.

As guests rushed outside the see what was happening, the second bomb went off just yards from the hotel’s outdoor patio.

'We were knocked off our feet by the blast and all around us there were bodies – seven or eight people missing limbs’ he said.

'There was blood splayed everywhere. It was utter chaos.

'One of the fourth-floor guests went up to the roof to see if he could see what was happening. That’s when he found what he thought was the hubcap.

'He handed it to the cop as everyone was being evacuated – at the time it was feared there were more bombs set to go off.

'Now it turns out that piece of metal is a big piece of the evidence. Apparently, forensics should be able to get many more clues from that.

'The FBI also took away video and photos the guest had taken. They are scouring those for further evidence.'

On Tuesday, crime scene photographs of the remnants of the first bomb which detonated during Monday's Boston marathon showed that a six-liter pressure cooker was used in at least one of the deadly charges - and experts described the devices as military-style 'anti-personnel' devices.

The images - released by the Joint Terrorist Task Force - show the wreckage of a stainless steel pressure cooker with an Underwriters Laboratory safety mark and an imprint that reads gas or electric.

Furthermore, it was claimed the deadly devices used were designed to act like 'homemade claymores' - powerful, directional anti-personnel devices.

Described as using a 'low explosive', most likely black or smokeless powder, the bombs are reported to have exploded outwards with shrapnel at 3,300 feet per second. The lid of a pressure cooker was found on a nearby rooftop and investigators were able to pinpoint which type of cooker was used.

One brand of pressure cooker with '6L' on the bottom is made by the Spanish company Fagor, which sells about 50,000 of the six-liter pots in the United States every year, according to the New York Times.

This gives investigators a real chance to narrow down their list of suspects - which they said yesterday was 'wide open' - and find out who is responsible for the worst attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11.

They will use every clue, from the cooker's manufacturer and retailers to the types of nails used in the shrapnel, to try and find out from where the bomb parts were purchased and by whom.

Roy Parker, a retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agent who ­developed the agency’s explosives training program, said examiners are looking at scraps of the bomb components, bags and all other forensic evidence.

He said: 'You’re looking for a needle in a haystack, but the needle is there. If you look long enough, you’ll get stuck with it. This is not an unsolvable crime.' - Daily Mail

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2310859/Boston-bombings-latest-FBI-gives-agents-images-TWO-Boston-bombing-suspects-Hunt-men-seen-wearing-packs-near-marathon-finish-line-terror-attack-blasts.html#ixzz2QnSxASdW

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