• Official responds to report identifying vulnerability at finish line before bombings


    (MyFoxBoston.com) – Mass. State Police spokesman David Procopio says an intelligence report written prior to the Boston Marathon which calls the finish line an "area of increased vulnerability" was standard language for describing such an event.

    "It is standard language for describing potential vulnerable locations for a race event based on common sense and event security expertise," says Procopio. "It is not based on any actual intelligence that the locations are about to be targeted."

    Procopio goes on to reiterate that the report, which was written by the Commonwealth Fusion Center and the Boston Regional Intelligence Center and shared with Mass. law enforcement agencies, was not a response to any specific threat or information. He says similar language can be found in many joint-threat assessments and compares it to calling airplanes attractive targets to terrorists.

    "It is akin to saying, in general terms, that airplanes are an attractive target to terrorists, which is a true statement in general terms, even though we have no information that any specific flight is currently being targeted. It is nothing more than that," Procopio explains "The assessment about start and finish lines being potential targets was considered and reflected in security plans for the event, as they have been every year."

    The intelligence report identified the finish line of the race as an "area of increased vulnerability" five days before the Boston Marathon bombings, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    The newspaper says the 18-page report warned Boston police that extremists may use "small scale bombings" to attack spectators and runners at the event.

    The "joint special event assessment" dated April 10 notes that at the time there was "no credible, specific information indicating an imminent threat" to the Boston Marathon.

    Since the bombings, the FBI has acknowledged that agents interviewed Bomber No. 1 Tamerlan Tsarnaev at the request of the Russian government in 2011, but determined that he did not pose a threat.

    Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis testified at the House Homeland Security Committee hearing in Washington that it was more than three days after the April 15 bombing before he learned about the Tsarnaevs. "We didn't look at the brothers until after the shootout," he said.

    Authorities allege Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, carried out the April 15 bombings near the finish line, using pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and metal shards. The attack killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

    Thursday, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body was removed from Worcester and entombed elsewhere. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remains imprisoned on charges in the case.

    Read more: Los Angeles Times

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