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Obama: Boston capture closes out a 'tough week'

By Jim Kuhnehenn

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:20 a.m. HST, Apr 20, 2013

WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama pledged to seek answers for the victims of the Boston Marathon explosions about the motives and the planning behind the deadly blasts, even as he acknowledged that the capture of a second suspect brought to a close a trying five days for his presidency and for the nation.

"All in all it's been a tough week," he said. "But we've seen the character of our country once more."

The marathon blasts and the hunt for the suspects that both terrorized Boston and captivated the country were the predominant worries at the White House. But the capture of one suspect Friday, following the death in a shootout of another, capped an extraordinary week in Boston, Washington and elsewhere around the country.

A massive explosion leveled a Texas fertilizer plant Wednesday, leaving at least 14 people dead, 200 injured and a staggering 60 others still unaccounted. On Tuesday, letters addressed to Obama and to a U.S. senator were found to contain traces of poisonous ricin. An Elvis impersonator was arrested and charged with threatening the president's life.

"I'm confident that we have the courage and the resilience and the sprit to overcome these challenges and to go forward," Obama said late Friday at the White House, just over an hour after law-enforcement officials apprehended 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a suspect in Monday's explosions at Boston's venerable race.

Three people were killed and more than 180 injured in the blasts. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology policeman was killed and another police officer was severely wounded during the manhunt .

Tsarnaev's older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was also wanted in the bombings and died earlier Friday in an attempt to escape police. The two men were identified by authorities and relatives as ethnic Chechens from southern Russia who had been in the U.S. for about a decade.

Both Obama and Republicans used their weekly addresses to celebrate the resolve Americans demonstrated after the attack.

"The world has witnessed one sure and steadfast truth: Americans refuse to be terrorized," Obama said in his radio and Internet address released Saturday. "Ultimately, that's what we'll remember from this week. That's what will remain. Stories of heroism and kindness, resolve and resilience, generosity and love."

In the Republican address, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina praised the first responders who ran toward danger and sacrificed their own safety to assist victims.

"These amazing Americans, some of whom charged through fences and barricades, put their own lives on the line to help others," Scott said.

Both addresses were recorded before Friday evening's tension-filled capture of the teenaged suspect.

In his remarks after the younger Tsarnaev brother was taken into custody, Obama called him and his bother "terrorists" and said his capture "closed an important chapter in this tragedy."

Still he added: "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 our 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 to stand, walk and live again deserve answers," he added.

His remarks came a few hours after Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin to thank him for what the White House described as close cooperation on counter-terrorism, "including in the wake of the Boston attack." Putin expressed condolences for the victims in Boston.

In his comments to reporters late Friday Obama cautioned against a rush to judgment about the motivations of the suspects and "certainly not about entire groups of people."

"That's why we have investigations, that's why we relentlessly gather the facts, that's why we have courts," he said.

The president also acknowledged the fertilizer plant disaster in West Texas, which he describe as a "tightknit community in Texas devastated by a terrible explosion."

"I want them to know that they are not forgotten," he said, pledging to provide resources to recover and rebuild.

Follow Jim Kuhnhenn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn



Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov

GOP address: www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress

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ross13moon wrote:
this is just the opening chapter...
on April 20,2013 | 03:41AM
palani wrote:
Still he [Obama] added: "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 our country resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks and did they receive any help."

Yes, there are many emerging questions, such as how did the older brother's recent 6 month visit to terrorist breeding ground Chechnya and his social media links to islamic jihadist websites escape the close scrutiny of Janet Napolitano's Homeland Security Agency? Perhaps they were too focused on "radical" tea party" types and Second Amendment defenders to notice the real threats under their noses.

on April 20,2013 | 05:13AM
OldDiver wrote:
Many of the 9/11 bombers were on the FBI watch list while George Bush was on his nine month vacation in Texas. Don't remember you getting hopping mad about that.
on April 20,2013 | 07:39AM
palani wrote:
9/11 ended the casual dismissal of the islamic threat first made apparent with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which was under Clinton's "watch". In fact, Clinton had several opportunities to take out Bin Laden, but he refused. But, hey, you're going to blame Bush no matter what, even though the messianic one has been in the White House for 5 years now.
on April 20,2013 | 10:20AM
OldDiver wrote:
Almost nothing you just stated is true.
on April 20,2013 | 01:17PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Palani,if you have nothing to say, why it?
on April 20,2013 | 04:51PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Maybe Barry can explain to the victims why the FBI had one of these muslims on their radar two years ago as reported by CNN?
on April 20,2013 | 07:19AM
OldDiver wrote:
There are thousands of white Christian Americans on that list too. While they belong to white radical Christian religious organizations they have not committed a crime yet. Are you suggesting the FBI arrest them?
on April 20,2013 | 07:36AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Um no and nor am I suggesting arrests. Read the CNN article and re-read my post - I am suggesting to Barry to provide an explanation to the victims. According to CNN these guys were taken off the FBI's radar...
on April 20,2013 | 08:21AM
OldDiver wrote:
Are you suggesting the FBI spy on Americans without evidence they are about to commit a crime? Might do you some good to read the U. S. Constitution.
on April 20,2013 | 08:35AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Why so much hate? I often wonder what happened to you to cause you to say many of the things that you post on here. Please take care of yourself and those around you.
on April 20,2013 | 10:30AM
OldDiver wrote:
You were clearly making a hateful statement about Muslims. Don't be playing the victim.
on April 20,2013 | 01:19PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
It has become clear that you did not read CNN's FBI article and the muslim reference they made. (That's the problem when you only stay on the SA and Fox news sites). I forgive you for your hate.
on April 20,2013 | 02:53PM
palani wrote:
Yes, OldDiver, there may be "thousands of white Christian Americans on that list", which is why those posing actual threats to our safety are able to escape serious surveillance. Janet Napolitano is more concerned about disgruntled returning war veterans than islamic jihadists.
on April 20,2013 | 10:25AM
OldDiver wrote:
Oh My!
on April 20,2013 | 01:20PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
OMG....palani. Timothy McVeigh was a disgruntled war veteran. Gulf war too. Yet he was the most evilistic terrorist America has every seen. A war veteran, and a coward that killed Americans and Americal children. With that said, I salute All veterans and know that mental illness is the issue.
on April 20,2013 | 05:01PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
True OldDiver.
on April 20,2013 | 05:14PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Maybe Barry can explain to the survivor, why the car crashed. Maybe Barry can explain why BP polluted the gulf. Maybe Barry can explain why the crazy kid killed those children in Conn. Maybe Barry can explain why, it's still snowing in Wisconsin? Give me a break you Barry haters.
on April 20,2013 | 04:56PM
serious wrote:
This should never have happened. When you put on an event like this you must get a City permit. In the permit process it goes to the concerned agencies, one being the police department. THEY determine the number of police officers to be assigned AND, at time and an half pay since these events take place on holidays or weekends. This is usually the biggest expense of a race. If you looked at the video before the explosions--what were the police doing? They were watching the runners just like the spectators. When you see the President or the Pope walking down the street--what are the security people doing? They watch the crowds, the people, for anything suspicious. There were two backpacks unattended!!! If this had been a school, airport, bus station, there would have been a lockdown, an evacuation. So what's the job of the police? Traffic control is taken care of by barriers, crowds are controlled by barriers and ropes. Looking cute doesn't hack it. When you watch the HNL Marathon in December see the 5-6 officers at each intersection--chatting, watching the runners!!! They should earn their pay. Boston Bombings could have been prevented by police doing their job at good pay. I understand the Boston lockdown cost upwards of $250,000,000.
on April 20,2013 | 07:52AM
ross13moon wrote:
so for any event where there are one person to thousands, etc, there must be security accountable for every square feet , which is able to detect all forms of danger? WOW!!!
on April 20,2013 | 10:07AM
serious wrote:
I didn't say that. If you hire police you expect them to do their job and they didn't.
on April 20,2013 | 02:21PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Don't complain at the next HNL marathon security forces ask you just wear your underwear,okay serious.
on April 20,2013 | 05:11PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
So serious, No kudos to Boston s Finest? Boston s Hero's. After everyone said what a good job? You say, their a union,their the enemy, it's my tax dollars, WoW. You are a teaest.
on April 20,2013 | 05:05PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Martial Law worked so darn well that I expect to see a lot more of it in the future. Along with suspension of those pesky but constitutionally guaranteed Miranda rights.
on April 20,2013 | 08:53AM
teotwawki wrote:
Don't rush to judge motivation of suspects, and certainly not about entire groups of people. But when a few nuts bring guns to the movies and school grounds, he wants to confiscate all of our guns.
on April 20,2013 | 09:14AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The news reported today that he has approved the sale of $10 billion of military equipment to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Now, somebody tell me about the 10 bullets good, 15 bullets bad law.
on April 20,2013 | 11:30AM
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