Saudi in Boston Bombing is a “devout Muslim from Medina”

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Of course we have to get this from the British papers. American media covered this same interview with the Saudi national's roommate, but left out what would be the most important piece of evidence if the Saudi national proves to be connected to the terror bombing in Boston.

"He's a quiet, devout Muslim – he couldn't do that': Neighbors' shock
as police raid Boston home linked to burned Saudi student seized near
race finish line
Daily Mail, April 16, 2013

  • Bomb squad among 20 bags of evidence removed
  • Saudi suspect, 20, under guard in hospital after 'acting suspiciously' in area
  • Police also hunting dark skinned man with hooded dark-colored sweatshirt and backpack seen trying to get into restricted area
  • Speculation mounts over who could be behind the attack that left three dead
  • Fingers point towards either Islamic militants or right-wing extremists who chose to attack on symbolic Patriot's Day
  • Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called bombings 'cruel act of terror'
  • One of the bombs had been placed in a metal pressure cooker and was designed to look like a discarded item, police sources say

Neighbors of
the Saudi student who was detained for 'acting suspiciously' at the
marathon finish line said they were shocked to hear he had any
involvement in the bombing as he is a 'quiet, devout Muslim who is a
huge soccer fan'.

Detectives
and bomb disposal officers raided his apartment last night in the
Revere area of Boston and could be seen removing several bags of
evidence, though he has not been charged with anything.

The
20-year-old, who is studying English, is in hospital after suffering
from serious burns and is said to be cooperating fully with police. He was tackled to the ground by a civilian who believed he was acting suspiciously.

CBS, citing police sources,
reported that one of the bombs had been placed in a metal pressure
cooker and was designed to look like a discarded item. Many of the
wounded were hit by discarded ball bearings.

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'Crude bombs': Both of the bombs were small, likely homemade devices and initial tests showed no C-4 or other high-grade explosive material

'Crude bombs': Both of the bombs were small,
likely homemade devices and initial tests showed no C-4 or other
high-grade explosive material

Police and federal officials exit an apartment complex at 364 Ocean Avenue with a possible connection to the earlier explosions that occurred during the Boston Marathon on Monday

Police and federal officials exit an apartment
complex at 364 Ocean Avenue with a possible connection to the earlier
explosions that occurred during the Boston Marathon on Monday

 

364 Ocean Ave in Revere, - which police and Federal investigators searched this evening after they identified a 'person of interest' who was earlier driving erratically

364 Ocean Ave in Revere – which police and
Federal investigators searched this evening after they identified a
'Saudi national' who was detained at the scene


Pictured: Images of a man in cuffs were posted online but police were keen to underline there had been no arrests.

Pictured: Images of a man in cuffs were posted
online but police were keen to underline there had been no arrests.
Officers said they were speaking to several people as would be expected
in any major incident

The
Saudi student – who has not been named – said he had been at dinner
with friends the night before and was at the marathon simply because he
'wanted to see the end of the race'.

One
of his two flat mates, who would only give his name as Mohamed
Badawood, told the MailOnline: 'He is a sweet kid, a kind person. He
would not do this or hurt anyone.'

He described him as a devout Muslim and a soccer fan who is from the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia.

He is attending an English language school in greater Boston, the roommate said, adding that he last saw him on Sunday.

The
roommate said: 'I know he went to the marathon yesterday but I don’t
know what happened because I had gone out elsewhere to get drunk.

'When
I came home the police were at our apartment. They asked lots of
questions. Then the FBI and other officers came. They took some clothes
away and searched everything.

'My
roommate is a student, he has been living here for five months. I am
not telling you his name because it is not fair to him.'

It is not clear if agents found anything in the raid, but Revere fire officials said they were
called out to support bomb-squad officers as part of the investigation of the 'person of interest'.

Other
residents in the smart 13-storey complex said  three young men lived in
a fifth floor apartment. Several believed he had Anglicized his Saudi
name to Jason.

'There
are a lot of rumors floating about. This is a building that has been
packed with people from the Middle East in recent years – it is a very
popular area with Saudi students,' said Gita Lopez, who lives in one of
the adjoining six blocks in the complex that is known as Water’s Edge.

Staff
at the building’s leasing office refused to comment on the suspect or
his friends. But one said: 'We are co-operating fully with the police.'

Today
President Obama once again addressed the nation about the bombs, which
killed three and left more than 170 injured, and confirmed it was an
'act of terror'.

He admitted they did not know who was behind it or why, if it was an international or domestic organization, or perhaps a 'malevolent individual'.

He lauded the response of the runners, spectators and first responders in the wake of the attack.

'If
you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil,
that is it: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid,' he said.

Obama
said investigators 'don’t have a sense of motivation yet' as they begin
to evaluate the attack but despite the atrocity of it, he declared:
'The American people refuse to be terrorized.'

Richard
DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston Division,
said: '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.

'Our
mission is clear: to bring to justice those responsible…The American
public wants answers. The citizens of the city of Boston and the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts want and deserve answers.'

He said investigators had received 'voluminous tips' and were interviewing witnesses and analyzing the crime scene.

Gov
Deval Patrick said that contrary to earlier reports, no unexploded
bombs were found. He said the only explosives were the ones that went
off.

At Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, investigators
seized the Saudi student's clothes to examine whether they held any evidence that
he was behind the attack, which is being called the worst terrorist
attack  on U.S. soil since 9/11.

Aftermath: Smoke billows over the finish line after the first bomb was detonated, inflicting tragedy and panic at the race

Aftermath: Smoke billows over the finish line after the first bomb was detonated, inflicting tragedy and panic at the race

Massachusetts General Hospital, where 22 victims of the bomb blast are being treated, was forced into lock-down for about two hours after a suspicious package was reported in the parking garage across the street

Massachusetts General Hospital, where 22 victims
of the bomb blast are being treated, was locked down for two hours
after a suspicious package was reported in the parking garage across the
street

 

 

Evacuation: Police were desperately trying to evacuate the area following the explosions as three secondary devices were reportedly found
Evacuation: Police were desperately trying to evacuate the area following the explosions

Police investigators leave an apartment complex in Revere, Massachusetts, USA, 16 April 2013

Police investigators leave an apartment complex in Revere, Massachusetts, USA, 16 April 2013

 

Investigators were seen leaving the scene with brown paper evidence bags, trash bags and a duffel bag.

Investigators were seen leaving the scene with brown paper evidence bags, trash bags and a duffel bag

Law sources told
the
New York Post that after the man was grabbed by police, he smelled
of gun powder and said, 'I thought there would be a second bomb' before
asking, 'Did anyone die?'

The Saudi man was tackled by a bystander by the scene who thought he was acting suspiciously.

Investigators were seen leaving the scene with brown paper evidence bags, trash bags and a duffel bag.

A
law enforcement source told CBS: 'They see him running away from the
device. Now, a reasonable person would be running away. But this person
had noticed him before. This is a civilian — chases him down, tackles
him, turns him over to the Boston police.

'The
individual is being looked at [and] was suffering from burn injury.
That means this person was pretty close to wherever this blast went off,
but not so close as to suffer the serious injuries that other people
did.'

Though
many patients were treated for minor cuts and scrapes, doctors have
also been 'pulling ball bearings and projectiles out of people in the
emergency room'.

It was reported today that the bombs were in pressure cookers inside black duffel bags and were designed to propel
shrapnel and shards of metal.

Rep
Pete King, a Long Island republican who chairs the house
counterterrorism subcommittee told ABC news that the bombings had 'all
the trademarks of an al Qaeda attack'.

Defense
secretary Chuck Hagel today called the bombings a 'cruel act of terror'
and said it will be 'approached as an act of terror'.

Police had said
earlier on Monday that they were searching for a 'dark-skinned or black
male' wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and a backpack in
connection with the twin explosions.

A TIMELINE OF TERROR ON US SOIL: A HISTORY OF HOMELAND SECURITY

9/11 ATTACKS

1920
 

September 16, New York City: Thirty
five people are killed and hundreds injured after a TNT bomb planted in
an unattended horse-drawn wagon explodes on Wall Street. Bolshevist or
anarchist terrorists were blamed but nobody was ever convicted.

1975
 

January 24, New York City: A
blast tears through the historic Fraunces Tavern killing four and
injuring more than 50. Puerto Rican nationalist group (FALN) later
claims responsibility.

1988
 

December 21, Lockerbie, Scotland:
A New York-bound Pan-Am Boeing 747 is blown out of the sky and crashes
on the Scottish village. All 259 aboard are killed and 11 on the ground.
Passengers included 35 Syracuse University students and many U.S.
military personnel. Libya formally admitted responsibility 15 years
later and offered $2.7 billion compensation to victims' families.

1993
 

Febuary 26, New York City:
A bomb exploded in basement garage of World Trade Center, killing 6 and
injuring at least 1,040 others. In 1995, militant Islamist Sheik Omar
Abdel Rahman and 9 others were convicted of conspiracy charges, and in
1998, Ramzi Yousef, believed to have been the mastermind, was convicted
of the bombing. Al-Qaeda involvement is suspected.

1995

April 19, Oklahoma City: A
car bomb explodes outside a federal office building killing 168 people,
including 19 children. Over 220 buildings sustained damage. Timothy
McVeigh and Terry Nichols were later convicted in the anti-government
plot to avenge the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas., exactly two
years earlier

2001
 

September 11, New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania: Hijackers
crash two commercial jets into the twin towers of the World Trade
Center (pictured); Within hours, two more jets were crashed into the
Pentagon and a field in rural Pennsylvania. Total dead and missing
numbered 2,992, including 19 hijackers.  Al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin
Laden claim responsibility.

2009
 

June 1, Little Rock, Arkansas:
Abdulhakim Muhammed, a Muslim convert from Memphis, Tennessee, shoots
dead one soldier and wounds anotheroutside a military recruitment
centre. He later claimed ties to al-Qaeda, calling the shooting a jihadi
attack.

December 25: Nigerian
'pants bomber' Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab fails to detonate a bomb
secreted in his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. He
claimed links to al Qaeda.

2010
 

May 10, Jacksonville, Florida: A pipe bomb explodes while approximately 60 Muslims are praying in the mosque. Nobody is injured.

October 29:
Two packages of explosives are found on separate cargo planes bound
from Yemen to the United States. Each was discovered en route at
stop-overs in England and Dubai.

Five minutes before
the first explosion, officials said the hooded man attempted to gain entry to a restricted area but was turned away.
Authorities say he may be a foreign national, based on his accent.

Other reports
suggested one line of inquiry was an individual caught on camera before the attack carrying
multiple backpacks into the area 20 minutes before the deadly blasts. 

Separately, pictures
of a man in handcuffs surrounded by law enforcement officials
circulated Twitter on Monday evening. But authorities didn't identify the man or
say whether his arrest was related to the blasts or if it was the 'Saudi national'.

'At this time, we haven't been notified of any arrests or anyone
apprehended,' a police spokesperson said.

It
came as police were believed to be looking at whether bombs were
planted in trashcans along the route.

One of the runners said there were a number of bomb-sniffing dogs at the start and finish line, which he thought was odd.

University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach Ali Stevenson told Local 15: 'They kept making announcements to the participants do not worry, it's just a training exercise.'

He
said the presence of law enforcement spotters on the roof at the start
of the race also made the seasoned marathoner suspect police must have
had some threat or suspicion called in.

But government officials deny this and say there were no warnings of any kind.

Stevenson
had just finished the marathon before the explosions. His wife had been
sitting in one of the seating sections where an explosion went off, but
she had left her seat and was walking to meet up with him.

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.'

As
police scurried to find leads that would lead them to the culprits,
speculation grew that it looked more like a right-wing terrorist attack
rather than al Qaeda-inspired extremism.

Richard Barrett, the former United Nations co-ordinator for the al Qaeda and Taliban monitoring team, said the timing of the attack on Patriots'
Day and the relatively small size of the devices suggested the work of a
domestic extremist.

But Mr Barrett, who has served with MI5, MI6 and the Foreign Office, said: 'This happened on Patriots' Day, it is also the day Americans
are supposed to have their taxes in, and Boston is quite a symbolic
city. These are all little indicators.'

He added that it was still too early to confidently say who was to blame.

His
comments came after U.S. supercop Bill Bratton, a former head of Boston
police who is now based in London, warned there are 'no shortage of
potential suspects' behind the explosions.

Counter terrorism
expert Rick Nelson, of the Center for Strategic & International
Studies, said the number of co-ordinated blasts suggested a 'complexity'
that would be difficult for an individual to carry out alone.

'It was perhaps not
one person but a group who were involved,' he said. 'The location
suggests they were looking for maximum media value so that the
explosions were caught by television cameras.'

The two blasts on Monday went off almost concurrently
near the finish line of the marathon.

Police initially said a third blast occurred at
the
John F.Kennedy Presidential Library but later reported it as an unrelated fire.

 

Cell
phone service was shut down across the area to prevent any potential
remote detonations as police feared there were secondary devices.

Police were in a desperate race against time to find
any additional devices and said the task had been complicated by the items discarded by spectators fleeing the scene.

Multiple reports
were flooding in in the moments after the attack, saying there were
devices reported outside Harvard and other sites along the marathon
route. But today it was confirmed that there were only two devices.

Massachusetts
General Hospital, where 22 victims of the bomb blast are being treated,
was forced into lock-down for about two hours after a suspicious package
was reported in the parking garage across the street.

Bomb sniffing dogs
from the Rhode Island State Police, SWAT officers from the Boston police
department and bomb squad officers searched the entire parking
structure, floor-by-floor.

Authorities found one bag, but determined it was not a threat and contained nothing suspicious.

 

As
the investigation continued into Monday night, all off-duty officers in
the city were called back on duty and dog units were sent in to help
the emergency response.

The scene of the blasts will remain cordoned off for at least 24 hours as forensic work continues.

Police were pleading
with onlookers to head home over fears the dangers remained in the downtown area of the city
.
 



NBC reported that the devices which caused the blasts were ‘small
homemade bombs’ as the FBI referred it as a ‘terrorist attack’.

Police departments across the country including San
Francisco and New York have been put on heightened alert.

Today,
a plane was brought back to the gate at Logan airport after two
passengers on board were speaking Arabic and people grew concerned.

Controlled explosions: Officers were said to be carrying out controlled explosions on three secondary devices

Controlled explosions: Officers were said to be carrying out controlled explosions on three secondary device

In London security will now be assessed ahead of the
marathon being held there on Sunday.

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