Marathon bombs likely made from pressure cookers, shrapnel, say experts
Published April 16, 2013 | FoxNews.com
Pressure cookers - possibly activated remotely by a cellphone - are believed to have been used to make the crude bombs that sent deadly shrapnel hurling into a crowd of onlookers and competitors at Monday's Boston Marathon, experts told Fox News.
Doctors treating some of the 176 injured victims believe the explosives were packed with deadly shrapnel, including pellets, nails and sharp metallic objects - with some patients having "40 or more" such fragments embedded in their bodies.
"Many of them have severe wounds mostly in the lower part of their body - wounds related to the blast effect of the bomb, as well as small metallic fragments that entered their bodies - pellets, shrapnel, nails - that these bombs had," George Velnahos, chief of trauma surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, said Tuesday.
"I wouldn't exclude completely the possibility that some of these fragments are environmental, but my opinion is that most of them were in the bomb," Velnahos said.
"They are numerous," he added. "There are people who have 10, 20, 30 or 40 of them in their body or more."
The FBI has not commented on the nature of the two devices used in the blasts, but sources close to the investigation say shredded pieces of pressure cookers were found at the blast sites, indicating the bombs were made from kitchen devices.
A source close to the investigation told Fox News that the style of the device used closely resembles that commonly seen in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Another source confirmed that "pressure cookers were used in both devices."
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a pressure cooker was attached to a wooden board in at least one of the blasts. The pressure cooker acted as the timer, the source said, and attached to the board was a bottle filled with nails, ball bearings and BB's. That device was placed inside a black nylon backpack and then dumped in a garbage can, according to the source.
A third source said that the FBI is scanning cellphone tower records for the "moment of detonation." If the moment of detonation is positively identified, the corresponding cellphone number can be traced.
Jeff Lanza, a retired FBI agent, said the Boston case "bears striking similarities" to the bombings at the 1996 summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, in which Eric Robert Rudolph planted three pipe bombs with "lots of shrapnel," killing two and injuring 111 people.
Lanza also said the smoke color seen at an explosion - which in the Boston case was white - will help indicate the type of bomb used in the blasts.
Fox News' Cristina Corbin, Jennifer Griffin, Catherine Herrridge and Mike Levine contributed to this report.
FBI, Boston police go into overdrive in marathon bombing probe
Published April 16, 2013 | FoxNews.com
The FBI and state and local police are intensifying their probe into Monday's bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, vowing a "world-wide investigation" and appealing to the public for tips and cellphone pictures that might yield clues about who was behind the horrific attack.
No suspects have emerged, but new details are slowly emerging in the attack, which killed three and injured at least 176. Two bombs went off just before 3 p.m., shattering a festive atmosphere several hours after the legendary race began on the city's 238th annual Patriot's Day. An eight-year-old boy was among the dead and several runners and spectators suffered severe injuries including severed limbs as the bombs sent shrapnel flying.
"This will be a world-wide investigation," Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI's Boston Field Office Richard DesLauriers said at a Tuesday morning news conference, adding that investigators will go "wherever the leads take us."
"We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the suspects responsible for this despicable crime," he added.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis appealed to the public to come forward with any information or photographic evidence that might help authorities zero in on the killers.
"We're looking to bring the individuals responsible for this heinous crime to justice," he said.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said the two bombs were the only explosive devices found in the area, discounting prior reports that more unexploded devices had been discovered.
"Two and only two explosive devices were found yesterday," Patrick said.
Authorities searched an apartment in the nearby Boston suburb of Revere as part of the investigation into the explosions. FoxNews.com saw federal, state and local law enforcement entering the building late Monday night and early Tuesday morning. Sources confirmed to FoxNews.com that the apartment being searched in connection to the bombings is on the fifth floor of the building.
A source close to the investigation confirms to FoxNews.com the man whose apartment was searched is considered a person of interest in the case, and is the same person of interest Fox News confirmed earlier authorities are guarding at a local hospital. The source stressed that the person of interest is not a suspect, and said he suffered serious injuries in the explosion.
The FBI has a lot of leads and "a lot of work to do" in the investigation, a law enforcement source said. The source said the investigation is "very fluid" and the FBI is looking at many, many people.
Investigators were seen leaving the Revere house early Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag, according to the Associated Press.
The Pakistani Taliban, which has threatened attacks in the United States because of its support for the Pakistani government, denied any role in the marathon bombings Tuesday.
The group's spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, denied involvement in a telephone call with The Associated Press. He spoke from an undisclosed location.
Federal investigators said Monday no one had claimed responsibility for the devastating attack on one of the city's most famous civic holidays, Patriots' Day.
The 8-year-old boy was killed as he, his mother and sister waited for his father to finish the race. A first responder source tells Fox News all of the victims were either bystanders or marathon runners, and that two of the deceased were adults.
In addition to the deaths, more than 170 people were injured - including up to 10 with amputated limbs and 17 critically.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services, said: "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."
Anyone with information on the bombings is being urged to call Boston authorities at 1-800-494-TIPS.
William Farrington An FBI investigator examines a bag inside an apartment in Revere, in a building on the street where a man being questioned in the bomb attack lives.
Police took a 20-year-old Saudi national into custody near the scene of yesterday's horrific Boston Marathon bomb attack, law-enforcement sources told The Post.
The potential suspect was questioned by the FBI and local police yesterday at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he was under heavy guard while being treated for shrapnel injuries to his leg sustained in the blast.
In late afternoon, a large group of federal and state law enforcement agents raided an apartment in a building in the Saudi man's hometown of Revere, Mass.
FBI agents could be seen through one window. It was not clear what, if anything, they found. But Revere fire officials said they were called out to support bomb-squad officers as part of an investigation of a "person of interest" in the marathon attack.
At the hospital, investigators seized the man's clothes to examine whether they held any evidence that he was behind the attack. The law-enforcement sources also told The Post that the man was not free to leave the medical center.
He had suffered shrapnel wounds to the back of a leg but was not likely to die, a source said.
As of last night, investigators had not yet directly asked the man whether he had set off the bombs. But they had asked him general questions, such as what he was doing in the area.
The potential suspect told police he had dinner Sunday night near Boston's Prudential Center, about half a mile from the blast site, the sources said.
He also said that he went to the Copley Square area yesterday to witness the finish of the race.
The sources said that, after the man was grabbed by police, he smelled of gunpowder and declared, "I thought there would be a second bomb."
He also asked: "Did anyone die?"
Officials showed up at the Revere apartment at about 5:30 p.m. in unmarked vehicles, a resident of the building said. It's on a street where the man had lived, law-enforcement sources told The Post.
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