President Barack Obama used the White House press podium Monday evening to reassure Bostonians of national support and to promise that “the full weight of justice” will be applied to the responsible individuals or groups.
Obama also made sure to warn Americans not to “jump to conclusions” about the identity and motivation of the attacker or attackers.
“We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts,” he insisted.
Obama did not use the T-word, terrorism, or describe the attack. Instead, he downplayed the attack, describing it “the events in Boston” and as a “senseless loss.”
In his strongest phrase, he said there were “explosions” in Boston.
The style of attack — multiple bombs against a densely packed civilian target — match the tactics of jihadis associated with al-Qaida and its Islamist affiliates.
Obama issued similar warnings against judgment after the Sept. 11 attack on U.S. Embassy sites in Libya.
Two weeks later, Obama and his aides admitted the attack was terrorism, but have since downplayed evidence that the Benghazi strike — which killed four Americans — was launched by al-Qaida’s affiliates.
An anonymous senior administration official, however, told Fox News reporter Ed Henry that “when multiple devices go off, that’s an act of terrorism.”
Monday, Obama also sought to reassure Bostonians shocked by the violent murders.
“We’re continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds,” he said. “Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims … all Americans stand with the people of Boston.”
He predicted that the United States would respond to the people who caused Monday’s event.
“Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice,” he claimed.
“As we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings,” he told the gathered reporters.
“We’re still in the investigation stage at this point,” he said. “We will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.”