Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Obama responds to capture of second suspect

U.S. President Barack Obama prays during an interfaith memorial service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing in Boston

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

In a media conference Friday evening U.S. President Barack Obama gave an update on the investigation of Monday's attack on the Boston Marathon, after the successful capture of the second suspect. This is a transcription of his statements:

...The local police across the state of Massachusetts responded with professionalism and bravery over five long days and tonight because of their determined efforts we've closed an important chapter in this tragedy.

I've been briefed earlier this evening by FBI director Mueller. After the attacks on Monday I directed the full resources of the federal government to be made available to help local authorities in the investigation and to increase security as needed. Over the past week, close coordination between federal, state and local officials sharing information and moving swiftly to track down leads, has been critical to this effort. They all worked as they should, as a team, and we are extremely grateful for that.

Story continues below advertisement

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all our outstanding law enforcement professionals. These men and women get up every day, put on their uniforms and risk their lives to keep us safe. And as this week showed, they don't always know what to expect. So our thoughts are with those who were wounded in pursuit of the suspects and we pray for their full recovery. We also send our prayers to the Collier family who grieved the loss of their son and brother Sean. He was born to be a police officer said his chief at MIT. He was just 26 years old. And as his family has said, he died bravely in the line of duty doing what he committed his life to doing, serving and protecting others, so we are grateful to him.

Obviously tonight there are still many unanswered questions. Among them: why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and country resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks? And did they receive any help? The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers.

The wounded, some of whom now have to learn how to stand, walk and live again, deserve answers. And so I've instructed the FBI and the Department of homeland security and our intelligence community to continue to deploy all the necessary resources to support the investigation, to collect intelligence and to protect our citizens. We will determine what happened. We will investigate any associations that these terrorists may have had. And we will continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe.

One thing we do know is that whatever hateful agenda drove these men to such heinous acts, cannot prevail. Whatever they thought they could ultimately achieve, they have already failed. They failed because the people in Boston refused to be intimidated. They failed because as Americans we refused to be terrorized. They failed because we will not waver from the character and the compassion and the values that define us as a country. Nor will we break the bonds that hold us together as Americans. That American spirit includes staying true to the unity and diversity that makes us strong, like no other nation in the world.

In this age of instant reporting, tweets and blogs, there's a temptation to latch on to any bit of information, sometimes to jump to conclusions. But when a tragedy like this happens, with public safety and risks and the stakes so high, it's important that we do this right. That's why we have investigations. That's why we relentlessly gather the facts. That's why we have courts. That's why we take care not to rush into judgement, not about the motivations of these people, certainly not about entire groups of people. After all one of the things that makes America one of the greatest nations on earth, and what makes Boston such a great city, is that we welcome people from all around the world, people of every faith, every ethnicity an every quarter of the world. So as we continue to learn more about why and how this tragedy happened, let's make sure we sustain that spirit.

Tonight we think of all the wounded still struggling to recover. Certainly we thing of Krystle Campbell, we think of Lu Lingzi, we think of little Martin Richard. Their lives reflected all the diversity and beauty of our country and they were sharing a great American experience together.

Finally let me say that even as so much attention has been focused on the tragic events in Boston, understandably. We've also seen a tight knit community in Texas devastated by a terrible explosion and I want them to know that they are not forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of West, Texas where so many people lost their lives, some lost their homes, and many are injured or still missing. I've talked to Governor Perry and mayor Menino and I've pledged that the people of West will have the resources they need to recover and rebuild and I want everybody in Texas to know that we will follow through with those commitments.

Story continues below advertisement

All in all this has been a tough week, but we've seen the character of our country once more. And as president I am confident that we have the courage and the resilience and spirit to overcome these challenges and go forward, as one nation under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you very much.

Transcription by Katrina Pyne

Report an error Licensing Options
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.