Obama Calls Boston Bombing An Act Of Terrorism

President Obama addressed the Boston bombings again on Tuesday, saying the FBI was investigating the attacks as acts of terrorism and vowing to find and punish the perpetrators.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This morning in the White House briefing room, President Obama made a statement about the attacks in Boston. As NPR's Ari Shapiro tells us, it was the president's second address to the nation in 24 hours.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Shortly before the president came out to speak, the White House issued a proclamation honoring the victims of the tragedy in Boston. President Obama ordered flags to fly at half staff over all public buildings. A few minutes after people lowered the flag above the White House, Obama walked into the briefing room looking somber and resolute.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This was a heinous and cowardly act and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism.

SHAPIRO: Obama had not used the word terrorism when first addressing the attack last night. Yet, today he suggested that what we now know is dwarfed by the mountain of things we don't, questions that investigators are still trying to answer.

OBAMA: Who carried out this attack or why, whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual; that's what we don't yet know.

SHAPIRO: Obama said he's getting regular briefings from the FBI director, the attorney general, the Homeland Security secretary and more. He talked about how resilient Americans are in difficult times and said the American people refuse to be terrorized.

OBAMA: Because what the world saw yesterday, in the aftermath of the explosions, were stories of heroism and kindness and generosity and love.

SHAPIRO: He described exhausted marathoners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood and others who tore off their clothes to use as tourniquets for the wounded. Like Boston officials who spoke earlier in the day, the president urged people to report anything out of the ordinary.

OBAMA: We all have a part to play in alerting authorities. If you see something suspicious, speak up.

SHAPIRO: A reminder that we are only beginning what could become a very long investigation. Ari Shapiro, NPR News, the White House.

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