In brief: FBI takes the lead in criminal investigation
WASHINGTON – The FBI is taking charge in the criminal investigation of the explosions at the Boston Marathon.
The announcement came Monday night at a news conference in Boston whose participants included Richard DesLauriers, the agent in charge of the FBI in Boston.
Also on Monday night, the FBI said it had set up a phone line for members of the public to call with information about the explosions to contact the law enforcement agency. The call-in number is 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), prompt #3.
“No piece of information or detail is too small,” the FBI said in urging the public to respond.
The FBI said it is seeking information, visual images or details regarding the explosions along the marathon route and elsewhere.
IRS provides extension for Boston-area citizens
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service says Boston-area taxpayers need time to finish their tax returns without worry.
Noting the tragedy of the explosions Monday at the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured at least 140, the IRS said it will be providing individual tax filing and payment extensions. Details will be announced today.
Navy bomb-disposal group sent to Boston
WASHINGTON – The Navy has sent one of its bomb-disposal units to Boston to assist local authorities as needed in the aftermath of the two explosions near the marathon’s finish line.
The three-member explosive ordnance disposal team based at Naval Station Newport, R.I., was sent to Massachusetts after state officials asked for help.
FAA creates no-fly zone and grounds flights
WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration created a no-fly zone over the site of two explosions at the annual marathon on Monday, and briefly ordered flights bound for Boston’s Logan International Airport held on the ground at airports around the country.
About an hour after the explosions the FAA issued a notice to pilots that a no-fly zone with a 3.5-mile radius has been created over 811 Boylston Street. The zone was later reduced to a 2.3-mile radius. The zone is limited to flights under 3,000 feet.
Jordanian Muslim Salafi praises Boston attack
AMMAN, Jordan – The head of an extremist Jordanian Muslim Salafi group said early today that he was “happy to see the horror in America” after the explosions in Boston.
“American blood isn’t more precious than Muslim blood,” said Mohammad al-Chalabi, who was convicted in an al-Qaida-linked plot to attack U.S. and other Western diplomatic missions in Jordan in 2003.
“Let the Americans feel the pain we endured by their armies occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and killing our people there,” he said early today.
Al-Chalabi served seven years in prison for his part in the foiled attack. His group is outlawed in Jordan.
Google, social media aid search for families
CHICAGO – Google is stepping in to help family and friends of Boston Marathon runners find their loved ones after explosions near the finish line.
The site, called Google Person Finder, allows users to enter the name of a person they’re looking for or enter information about someone who is there.
Cellphone use has been difficult in the Boston area. Phone companies say service is operating, but with heavy traffic.
Far-flung family members and friends are frantically using social media to check on the safety of runners and spectators after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon, killing two and injuring dozens.