Tag Archives: Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon bombing has races rethinking security


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Now that surviving Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev has been captured and charged with using a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, some of the motivations behind the attack are becoming clearer.

Other questions about security and how to prevent future attacks at similar events are under heated debate.

“Thinking about the football season starting or baseball, I don’t think [security is] going to change dramatically,” said David Kearn, an assistant professor in government and politics at St. John’s University.

Sporting venues such as Citi Field and the National Tennis Center are contained locations, he added.

“If you have to go through doors, you can have metal detectors, you can have people doing pat downs, you can have different types of devices to make sure that people aren’t bringing in things that you don’t want them bringing in,” Kearn said.

But he added that an event like the Boston Marathon has large areas that are “virtually unprotected.”

Security measure that Kearn said officials could use in areas where people congregate include mandatory check points.

The JFK 5k Runway Run, an annual race at John F. Kennedy International Airport, already uses similar security measures.

Runners and spectators must pass through security in accordance with the airport’s standards, said Rudy Auslander of the JFK Rotary Club, the event’s sponsor.

He said while they do not have to remove their shoes, all entrants are screened. Buses take runners out to the runway, and spectators are kept in an area near the line where the race both starts and finishes.

Other races in the city are designed differently, with spectators throughout the route, making similar security measures difficult.

The New York Road Runners (NYRR), who organize races including the ING NYC Marathon throughout the year, implemented enhanced baggage security following the Boston attack.

Runners who want to check their bags at one of the races must place them in a clear plastic bag and leave them in a designated zone that participants cannot enter. NYRR also has the right to search any bag in or outside the baggage area at any time, and an unattended bag can be confiscated.

“The safety and security of all New York Road Runners’ races is and will always be our top priority,” the group said in a statement. “A number of significant measures have been put in place in recent years, and we will work closely with the NYPD over the coming days and weeks to further evaluate security at races. We will continue to work hand in hand with the City of New York and the NYPD as we plan for all upcoming events.”

Kearn said these security measures would “draw more resources and more man power. You might be able to have volunteers do some of that stuff in terms of just checking bags, but you will have to have more folks checking and looking around in the future.”

 

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Boston bombing suspects discussed Times Square attack, officials say


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of FBI

Following the Boston Marathon attack, the bombing suspects intended to detonate additional explosives in Times Square, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly today.

Kelly said that information gathered from surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had initially indicated that he and his older brother were coming to New York to “party.” Yet after further investigation, Dzhokhar said that the pair had discussed the “spontaneous” plan to explode their remaining bombs in Times Square.

“Ten days ago, our city and nation received a horrific reminder that we remain targets for terrorists. Immediately upon news of the explosions in Boston, we fully mobilized the New York City Police Department’s vast counterterrorism operations – because we thought there was a possibility that there could be a related attack here,” said Bloomberg. “We now know that that possibility was, in fact, all too real.

According to Kelly, the suspects discussed their plan while driving in a hijacked Mercedes SUV after they fatally shot an MIT police offer. Their plan ultimately feel apart when the brother realized that car was low on gas and when they stopped at a nearby gas station, the driver escaped and called the police. This led to the shootout in Watertown, Massachusetts were the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed.

During the shootout, the suspects had “six improvised explosive devices” including a pressure cooker bomb and pipe bombs, said Kelly.

Dzhokar had been photographed with friends in Times Square “on or before April 18, 2012” and was later in New York in November.

“We don’t know if those visits were related in any way to what he described as the brothers’ spontaneous decision to target Times Square,” said Kelly.

Kelly said the NYPD Intelligence Division is “actively investigating to determine Dzhokar’s movement in New York City, as well as who he might have been with here.”

There is no evidence to indicate that New York City is currently a target of another terrorist attack “stemming” from the Boston bombings, said Kelly.

Even though Bloomberg said it cannot be known if the enormous police presence and extensive network of cameras in New York City would have been enough to stop the continuation of the terror, he is grateful the brothers were stopped in their tracks.

“We don’t know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists, had they arrived here from Boston, we’re just thankful we didn’t have to find out that answer,” said Bloomberg.

 

 

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Boston bombing suspects may have been heading to NYC to celebrate


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of FBI

According to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, the Boston Marathon bombing suspects may have been on their way to New York City to celebrate after the attack, reported NBC New York.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is now hospitalized and charged in the attack, told investigators that he and his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev were heading to Manhattan when they got into a gunfight with police that led to Tamerlan being killed, Kelly said. Dzhokhar fled the scene on foot and was found hiding in a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts on Friday.

The Boston Globe reported that after police talked with the carjacking victim that was allegedly held hostage by the brothers, they learned the suspects had told the victim about their role in the bombing.

The publication also reported that the suspects allegedly told the victim, “We just killed a cop. We blew up the marathon and now we are going to New York. Don’t [expletive] with us.”

Based on the interviews with the surviving Tsarnaev brother, Kelly reportedly said that investigators have come to believe that the two were not coming to New York to conduct additional attacks but instead to “party.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast with a chance of rain. High of 55. Breezy. Winds from the NE at 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 20%. Tuesday night: Overcast in the evening, then mostly cloudy. Low of 46. Winds from the North at 5 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Fish & Crushed Can Story mixed media art exhibit 

This mixed media exhibit by artist Iandry Randriamandroso is created from discarded, crushed aluminum cans found on the streets, and cardboard and burlap from local grocery, along with wordless hand-made books about a fish and a crushed can. It illustrates how growth is disrupted by invasive species. The exhibit is on display at the Queens Botanical Garden Visitor & Administration Building Gallery from April 23 through July 23. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Boston bomb suspect: My brother was the mastermind

The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has indicated that his older brother, not any international terrorist group, masterminded the deadly attack, a U.S. government source said. Read more: CNN

Canada terror plot targeted train in Toronto, NYC trains possibly scouted

Canadian officials have thwarted a terror plot that envisioned derailing a train in Toronto, and multiple sources say that Amtrak trains out of New York City may have been scouted by the suspects. Read more: NBC New York

NYPD investigate death of infant in Queens

The NYPD is investigating the death of a 6-month-old infant girl in Queens. Read more: Fox New York

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner returns to Twitter after sexting scandal bruised his political career

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner is back on the social network that helped end his career in public service. Read more: New York Daily News

TSA delays its move to loosen restrictions on small knives on planes

The Transportation Security Administration said it is delaying the implementation of a new controversial policy that would allow small knives on planes. Read more: CBS News

Senate bill jeopardizes tax-free online shopping

States could force Internet retailers to collect sales taxes under a bill that overwhelmingly passed a test vote in the Senate Monday. Read more: AP

 

Street Talk: What do you think the city should do to ensure safety at the NYC Marathon?


| editorial@queenscourier.com

street talk

Maybe they could ban backpacks, but I think New York does a great job with protection. We’ve been there before; we know what to do.
Darcy Schecht

What they do right now is phenomenal. They do a lot to protect us.
Debbie Lovis

I think we need more security and find out more about people going to school in our country. It’s scary.
Denise Angilly

I think there should be more security.
Jim Cohen

I don’t think there is much anyone can do. These people can look like anyone.
Frank Angilly

I think that’s very difficult to do these days. I have a friend in the police department; I know it’s difficult to ensure safety. We might need police in plain clothes and FBI too. We need different levels of security. I don’t think the city can be 100 percent secure.
Susan Philips

I think what they’re implementing this week in the city, the clear plastic bags, is a good idea. I think everything should be in a clear plastic bag so you can see exactly what everyone’s carrying.
Guy C.

I think we need more police and bag checks.
Taisha M.

 

-BY ROSA MICHAELS

Boston bombing suspect charged


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of FBI

Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property within the U.S. resulting in death, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday afternoon.

“Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston and for our country,” said Holder in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with each of the bombing victims and brave law enforcement professionals who lost their lives or suffered serious injuries as a result of this week’s senseless violence.”

He was also been charged with malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. If convicted, Tsarnaev faces the death penalty or life in prison.

Shortly before the charges were made public, the White House said that Dzhokhar would not be treated as an enemy combatant.

Tsarnaev remains hospitalized, recovering from gunshot injuries to the head, neck legs and hand, and had his initial court appearance from his hospital room today, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

He reportedly can’t speak because of his neck wound, but is answering officials’ questions through writing.

The charges come two days after Dzhokhar was found hiding in a boat in the backyard of a Watertown, Mass. home bleeding and in serious condition.

His capture was preceded by a dramatic shootout with police that killed his older brother and alleged accomplice in the bombing, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and a manhunt that shut down the Boston area Friday.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast. High of 55. Breezy. Winds from the ENE at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 30 mph shifting to the North in the afternoon. Monday night: Overcast in the evening, then mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 43. Breezy. Winds from the ENE at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Better Homes

SculptureCenter is pleased to announce the group exhibition Better Homes. The exhibit brings together a group of artists who examine the construction of the interior through design and homemaking from critical perspectives. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Boston marks week from Marathon bombs with silence

Seven days after the Boston Marathon bombings, the city planned to mark the traumatic week with mournful silence and a return to its bustling commute. Read more: AP

CBS News: Boston bombing suspect conscious, talking to authorities

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was conscious Sunday night, and was responding in writing to authorities, CBS News has confirmed with law enforcement officials. Read more: CBSNewYork/AP

First real test of FAA furloughs

Experts say the first real test of FAA furloughs is Monday. Read more: Fox New York/AP

NYPD: JFK terminal all clear after report of suspicious package

The NYPD bomb squad has given the all clear after a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport was briefly evacuated Sunday afternoon because of a suspicious package. Read more: NBC New York

Security remains tight in New York City after Boston bombings

New York City remains on high alert despite the capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. Read more: ABC New York

All-electric cabs hit New York City streets Monday

New York City’s taxi of tomorrow won’t be on the streets for another six months, but one way to mark Earth Day is to show off the coming technology. Read more: ABC New York

 

Boston bombing suspect in custody


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the FBI

One of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing is in custody after a manhunt that shut down the Massachusetts city and its suburbs today.

The Boston Police Department confirmed the news around 8:45 p.m., tweeting “Suspect in custody. Officers sweeping the area.” He is in serious condition, authorities said.

The suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev, was found hiding in a boat in the Boston suburb of Watertown when he was captured, according to reports.

Officials at the scene could be heard cheering shortly after he was collared.

His brother and fellow suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed during an overnight shootout after the two allegedly hijacked a car in Cambridge, Massachusets and murdered a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) police officer.

Boston Police Commissioner said, to his knowledge, the security guard was assassinated in his cruiser.

“These officers acted heroically, courageously,” Davis said.

A transit officer was also injured in the melee and is listed in critical but stable condition.

The younger Tsarnaev then sparked a manhunt through Watertown, which is about eight miles from Boston. Both towns were on virtual lockdown as authorities swept through searching for the teen.

It was only after a Watertown man left his home after being locked down all day and noticed blood on the boat stored in his back yard, Davis said. The man lifted the tarp covering the boat, saw a man covered in blood and proceeded to call the police.

Authorities believe the blood on Tsarnaev came from injuries the night before, but acknowledged there was gunfire during the seizure.

“Thankfully this man who found this suspect called the authorities right away,” Davis.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino said the city was resilient  and commended the joint police effort to arrest the suspect.

“We shall go on,” Menino said. “We’re a better city that we have been in the past week. We’re there working hard.”

The capture comes about 24 hours after authorities released footage of two persons of interest in the Boston Marathon bombing that left three dead and injured over 100.

Those killed on April 15 included 8-year-old Martin Richards, who was at the marathon watching his father run. Many had to undergo amputations after being severely injured in the blast.

President Barack Obama, addressing the nation after the arrest was confirmed, said he would continue using FBI, Homeland Security and other intelligence resources to find out why the suspects carried out the attack.

“Obviously tonight there are still many unanswered questions,” Obama said. “The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers.

Obama flew to Boston Thursday morning for an interfaith memorial ceremony, in which he promised to bring the attackers to justice.

-BY TERENCE M. CULLEN AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High of 63. Breezy. Winds from the SSE at 10 to 25 mph. Tuesday night: Overcast with a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 54. Winds from the South at 5 to 20 mph shifting to the WSW after midnight. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Woodhaven Poetry Society

Read and discuss the written word of some of our most favorite poets. Write your own poetry from various topics as we expand our poetry horizons. It is FREE to the public. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Search warrant executed in Boston Marathon bombings that killed 3, wounded at least 145

The bombs that blew up seconds apart at the finish line of one of the world’s most storied races left the streets spattered with blood and glass, three dead, including an 8-year-old boy, more than 140 wounded and gaping questions of who chose to attack at the Boston Marathon and why.Read more: ABC New York/AP

Bloomberg: No specific NYC security concerns in wake of Boston bombings

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said authorities aren’t aware of any specific concerns about a potential attack in New York City after the explosions at the Boston Marathon, but stressed the city is taking precautions. Read more: CBS New York/AP

Two more people arrested in so-called ‘Cannibal Cop’ case

Two more people are under arrest in connection with the so-called “Cannibal Cop”, Gilberto Valle, the ex-NYPD officer convicted of conspiring to cook and eat women. Read more: ABC New York

Mets offices suffer damage in Citi Field blaze

Further evidence that the New York Mets are on fire — their ballpark was damaged in an early morning blaze on Monday. Read more: New York Daily News

Former Rep. Weiner looks back at Twitter sex scandal as he weighs mayoral run

After nearly two years of keeping quiet, former Rep. Anthony Weiner is speaking out. Read more: NY1

State pumps money into salt marsh restoration at Jamaica Bay

In a move designed to protect southern Queens against future storms and improve the eco-system of Jamaica Bay, the state is giving local groups $645,000 to help rebuild 28 acres of salt marshes, the Daily News has learned. Read more: New York Daily News 

Bombing at Boston Marathon kills at least three, injures dozens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

BREAKING-NEWS-web-size1

UPDATE 8:57 p.m.: Boston police confirmed that three people have died in the bombing, according to reports.

UPDATE 8:52 p.m.: The FBI has taken over the investigation int0 Monday’s bombing.

UPDATE 8:39 p.m.: The Boston Globe is reporting that “just before 8 p.m., a ‘person of interest’ was being questioned at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in connection with the bombing according to an official briefed on the investigation. The individual was hurt in the explosion, the official said.”

UPDATE 7:44 p.m.: According to CNN, at least 132 have been hurt in the Boston bombing, including eight children. At least 17 of the injuries are critical.

UPDATE 6:38 p.m.: NBC News is reporting that one of the victims killed in Monday’s bombing was eight years old.

UPDATE: 6:27 p.m.: House Speaker John Boehner has ordered flags over the United States Capitol to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

UPDATE: 6:15 p.m.: Addressing the nation, President Obama said “we still do not know who did this or why,” but “any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”

UPDATE 6:00 p.m.: Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said that a suspect is not in custody.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: President Obama will make a statement on the Boston Marathon bombings at 6:10 p.m.

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: At a press conference, officials confirmed a third explosion at the JFK Library, about five miles away from the finish line, but later said the incident appeared to be fire related, and it still hasn’t been linked to the other bombings.

***

Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon this afternoon, killing at least two and injuring dozens, according to media outlets.

The blasts occurred around 2:50 p.m. within seconds of each other and about 50 to 100 yards apart.

Two additional explosive devices were found near the site of the marathon, a senior U.S. intelligence official told the AP.

Following the incident, the New York City Police Department said it is “stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city through deployment of the NYPD’s critical response vehicles until more about the explosion is learned.”

From the Boston Police Department:

  • Family members looking for information relative to individuals possibly injured during the incident are encouraged to call (617) 635-4500.
  • Community members wanting to assist this investigation anonymously are encouraged to call the Boston Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS (8477) or text the word TIP to CRIME (27463). Individuals who may have been taking pictures or video are asked to share that information.

Bayside marathoner runs for a cause


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

With every stride, for nearly 30 miles, William Lee will be thinking of all he lost to cancer.

The Bayside runner will be running the 117th Boston Marathon in April in memory of his two uncles and several cousins who succumbed to the disease.

“They will definitely be on my mind,” Lee said. “I’m not sure how I’ll be emotionally during the marathon.”

The 26.2 mile trek will be his 28th and last marathon after surgery to remove a benign spinal tumor changed
his life five years ago.

“I became a different runner after that,” said Lee, 44, an insurance company analyst. “There’s some nerve damage. My legs don’t work as well as they used to.”

But Lee said he plans to tough it out on April 15 to conquer cancer as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team.

He will be side by side with 550 other Dana-Farber teammates as they run from Hopkinton, Massachusetts to Boston. Their goal is to raise $4.6 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which supports early stage research.

Lee has already collected $4,730 in sponsorship with hopes of gathering thousands more before he reaches the starting line.

“I was looking for a cause I really believed in. I feel good that the money is going directly to a research center,” Lee said. “I’m excited about it.”

This is the first time Lee, who has been running for 20 years, will race Boston’s historic marathon route.

To donate to Lee’s cause, visit www.RunDFMC.org and search his name.

 

 

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