Two explosions were heard near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, and a federal law-enforcement source confirmed to The New York Post there are at least 12 dead.
Fox News said dozens were injured – the Boston Globe estimated 100 – including 10 whose limbs were amputated, following a large explosion. Then a smaller one happened a short while later.
Further, authorities then discovered at least two more devices that had not exploded and they were being dismantled by experts.
There was yet another device – a third explosion – at JFK Library in Boston, and fire officials said during a press conference it already had been linked to the ones at the marathon.
There were no injuries reported from the third bombing.
The Post said investigators have identified – and taken into custody – a suspect. Described as a Saudi Arabian national, officials said the 20-year-old suspect was under guard at an undisclosed Boston hospital.
Fox News said the suspect suffered severe burns, but there were no details whether he was injured in the attack and during the apprehension. The suspect was taken into custody less than two hours after the bombs went off around 2:50 p.m.
The Federal Aviation Administration closed down airspace around the city immediately.
The race winners had crossed the finish line on Boylston Street about three hours earlier, according to WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes, who was near the scene covering the marathon.
There were two “incredibly powerful explosions just seconds apart,” according to Hughes.
At two spots on Boylston Street, scores of people fell and were injured. Some appeared to have lost limbs, and others were knocked unconscious.
“Somebody’s leg flew by my head,” a spectator, who gave his name as John Ross, told the Boston Herald. “I gave my belt to stop the blood.”
WND contributor Reza Kahlili has been reporting since early December that terrorists were being dispatched to the United States to attack. Read the reports: IRAN ORDERS TERRORISTS: PREPARE FOR WAR; U.S. WARNED: AL-QAIDA HIT-SQUADS COMING; AL-QAIDA ALIVE AND WELL, READY TO ATTACK WEST; and NEXT 9/11: IRAN’S DEATH SQUAD IS HERE.
Video from the finish line showed screams and an enormous cloud of white smoke, and about 20 seconds between the blasts. The Associated Press reported that bloody spectators were being carried to a medical tent that had been set up to care for tired runners.
Jackie Bruno, a reporter for New England Cable News, said on Twitter that she saw people’s legs blown off.
“Runners were coming in and saw unspeakable horror,” she said.
A Fox reporter on the scene says the explosions came from the middle of a building. Police are checking to see whether explosive devices were placed in trash cans.
Hotels and restaurants are locked down while authorities secure the area. Police are still finding “secondary devices,” and a pleading with spectators to go home. The simultaneous explosions, and reports of at least one other unexploded device found near the scene – raised suspicions that the explosions, just before 3 p.m., could be terrorist attacks.
A White House official told NBC News President Obama has been notified of the explosions, the causes of which were not immediately clear, and had directed his administration to provide necessary assistance in the investigation and response.
New York City has stepped up security in the wake of the explosions.
“We’ve stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city through deployment of the NYPD’s critical response vehicles until is more about the explosion is learned,” Deputy Commissioner of the New York Police Department Paul J Browne told CNBC.
Security was also increased in Washington, D.C., at Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, officials told NBC News.
This is Patriot’s Day, which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, fought near Boston in 1775. Patriot’s Day is annually held on the third Monday of April.
“There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today’s Boston Marathon,” The Boston Marathon’s official Facebook page read. “We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened.”
President Obama called Boston mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to explain his administration is ready to provide needed support.
Patrick’s response was, “This is a horrific day in Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the President, Mayor Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”
In New York, the mayor said, “As law enforcement authorities investigate today’s explosions in Boston, I ask all New Yorkers to keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers,” Bloomberg said. “I have spoken with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and the NYPD has stepped up security at strategic locations and critical infrastructure, including our subways.”