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Investigating the Boston Marathon bombing

by AirTalk®

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Unclaimed finish line bags are viewed near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race, resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The two bombs that exploded at the historic Boston Marathon yesterday were contained in household pressure cookers with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings for maximum human devastation, according to AP sources. Three people are dead, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 150 people were injured.

Dr. Alasdair Conn of Massachusetts General Hospital told the Associated Press, "This is something I've never seen in my 25 years here.... this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war."

This morning, President Barack Obama called the attack an act of terror, but said investigators don't know if responsibility lies with an international or domestic group, or a "malevolent individual."

No other bombs were found in the Boston area, so investigators have to reconstruct the devices, comb through images and chase myriad leads. "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," said lead FBI agent, Richard DesLauriers.

What is the process of the investigation going forward? If the attack had political intent, why hasn't responsibility been claimed? In the aftermath, is there any lesson to learn about security?

Garrett Quinn, blogger for Boston Globe

Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Advisor to the RAND Corporation’s President and one of the nation's leading experts on terrorism and homeland security; RAND is a nonprofit research institution focused on policy analysis.

Erroll Southers, Associate Director of the National Homeland Security Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) at the University of Southern California (USC) where he developed the Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism and serves as an Adjunct Professor of Homeland Security and Public Policy; Southers is a former Presidential nominee for Assistant Secretary of the TSA; Governor Schwarzenegger's Deputy Director in the California Office of Homeland Security; and FBI Special Agent.

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