According to Exclusive Analysis, a risk-assessment agency, “The IED attacks at the Boston Marathon were likely intended to cause mass casualties rather than aimed at specific individuals or property.” It was at approximately 2:45 p.m. local time on April 15 in Boston that two coordinated detonations took place at the finish line at the iconic Boston Marathon. Three persons, including an 8-year-old boy, are among the dead. More than 100 persons were injured. At least one many lost both legs as a result of the blasts, while as many as a dozen persons suffered similar traumatic amputations. Boston, New York, and Washington DC have put into place additional security measures. Other world cities, such as London, have also reported additional security in wake of the attack in Boston.

 
“The Boston Marathon takes place annually on Patriot's Day, a local holiday that commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution. This year the event also occurred on Tax Day, the deadline for filing state and federal taxes,” said Alexia Ash of Exclusive Analysis, which was recently acquired by IHS.
 
“The scale and nature of the attack is consistent with our assessment of the intent and capabilities of the terrorist threat in North America: either Sunni-extremists looking to cause mass casualties or far-right domestic groups and individuals in protest against the government,” Ash stated. “We assess that the risk of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and shooting attacks against crowds of individuals and government assets is elevated. The increase in security, not just in Boston but in other major cities, will however mitigate the risk of further attacks in the coming days,” Ash concluded.
 
The explosives used in Boston on April 15 were apparently contained in 6-liter metal pressure cookers  hidden in black duffel bags on the ground at the Boston Marathon finish line, according to the Associated Press. One of the devices contained shrapnel in the form of metal and pellets, while nails were flung from the second device. 
The AP story indicated that another person familiar with the ongoing investigation confirmed that such pressure cooker bombs have been used in Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, according to a July 2010 joint  a FBI and Homeland Security report. One of the devices used in the Times Square bombing in May 2010 was a pressure cooker bomb, the intelligence report said.
 
Police in the metropolitan Boston area raided an apartment building in a search for clues. Police were seen on the evening of April 15 taking bags of evidence from an apartment that media have associated with an as yet unidentified 20-year-old Saudi national who is currently a person of interest in the investigation. The Saudi suffered burns during the blast and is under guard at a Boston hospital, where he is being questioned by the FBI.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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