President Barack Obama visited Boston Thursday, speaking about the Monday bombing at the Boston Marathon that left three people dead and many others seriously injured. Obama's visit comes amid conflicting reports that the FBI may or may not release images of two individuals it wishes to speak with about the attack.
"We finish the race," Obama said repeatedly during his remarks at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross. The president spoke dismissively of "these small, stunted individuals that would destroy rather than build" and used multiple running metaphors during his speech.
"We carry on, we race, we strive," Obama said. "Scripture tells us to run with endurance the race that is set before us," he said toward the end of his speech.
The loudest applause for Obama came when he said "the world will return to this great city" for the 2014 Boston Marathon.
The Boston Globe reported Thursday that the FBI is preparing to publicly release images of two people it would like to speak with about the attacks. Investigators "are planning to release the images [Thursday] in an appeal for the public's help in identifying the men," a source briefed on the investigation told The Globe.
Unlike The Globe's report, The Boston Herald - citing a named source - reported Thursday that investigators had not decided on releasing surveillance footage that shows the individuals. The footage was reportedly taken at a Lord and Taylor's department store by a TV station.
"Unless someone from the media is in possession of a photo from the FBI, they should consider it not credible," Christina DiIorio-Sterling of the U.S. Attorney's office told The Herald. DiIorio-Sterling said that no decision had been made.
The FBI delayed, and then canceled, what was supposed to be a 5 p.m. EDT press briefing Wednesday. Media outlets were anticipating that FBI might release photos of the person(s) of interest in the case at the briefing.
Reddit and 4Chan users have identified from photos taken at the marathon's finish line at least three people carrying black bags that appear somewhat similar to a shredded black bag pictured in a photo released by the FBI. The New York Times cites an unnamed source saying that one of the two men sought by the FBI was carrying a backpack that "appeared to be similar" to the one that carried a bomb.
Unofficial sourcing of developments in the case led to major embarrassment for several prominent news organizations Wednesday after they erroneously reported that a suspected had been arrested.
The FBI issued a scathing rebuke of reports that circulated Wednesday. "Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack," the FBI said in a released statement. "[W]e ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting."
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said during a House committee hearing Thursday that the FBI would like help identifying the people purportedly pictured in the images the FBI may release. "I wouldn't characterize them as 'suspects' under the technical term. But we need the public's help in locating these individuals," she said.