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Bomb Exercise Announced Prior to Marathon Blasts


April 17, 2013
John Dzenitis / Channel 15 NBC News & Huffington Post

University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach, who was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon when a series of explosions went off, said he thought it was odd there were bomb sniffing dogs at the start and finish lines. "They kept making announcements to the participants do not worry, it's just a training exercise," Coach Ali Stevenson told Local 15. Also: A list of US bombings and How to Help the people in Boston.

http://www.local15tv.com/news/local/story/UM-Coach-Bomb-Sniffing-Dogs-Spotters-on-Roofs/BrirjAzFPUKKN8z6eSDJEA.cspx

UM Coach: Bomb Sniffing Dogs, Spotters on Roofs Before Explosions
John Dzenitis / Channel 15 NBC News



BOSTON (April 16, 2013) --University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach, who was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon when a series of explosions went off, said he thought it was odd there were bomb sniffing dogs at the start and finish lines.

"They kept making announcements to the participants do not worry, it's just a training exercise," Coach Ali Stevenson told Local 15.

Stevenson said he saw law enforcement spotters on the roofs at the start of the race. He's been in plenty of marathons in Chicago, D.C., Chicago, London and other major metropolitan areas but has never seen that level of security before.

"Evidently, I don't believe they were just having a training exercise," Stevenson said. "I think they must have had some sort of threat or suspicion called in."

CNN reports a state government official said there were no credible threats before the race.

Stevenson had just finished the marathon before the explosions. Stevenson said his wife had been sitting in one of the seating sections where an explosion went off, but thankfully she left her seat and was walking to meet up with him. "We are just so thankful right now," Stevenson said.



Boston Marathon Help: Relief Groups Aid Victims (How To Help)
Eleanor Goldberg / The Huffington Post

(April 16, 2013) -- Rescue organizations are tending to the tragic scene at the Boston Marathon where at least three people were killed and more than 100 were injured after two explosions rocked the sporting event Monday.

About three hours after the winners crossed the finish line, a loud explosion went off just before the bridge that marks the finish line and another explosion was heard moments later, according to the Associated Press. The extent of the injuries remains to be seen, but an ER nurse at Carney Hospital in Dorchester told AOL that “this is awful” and that there are “amputations everywhere.”

The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts has opened a disaster operation center and is asking locals to notify loved ones of their whereabouts on the organization’s website.

The final mile of the marathon had been dedicated to the victims of the Newtown massacre , according to CBS and a group of nine racers from the area were running to raise funds for the Newtown Strong Fund, which helps the victims’ siblings pay for their education. Joanne Flaminio, Boston Athletic Association president, told the news outlet that the race had “special significance” considering that it spanned 26.2 miles and 26 people were killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: This story is developing. Please check back for updates on how to help.
• Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have formed The One Fund Boston, Inc. to help the people most affected by Boston Marathon tragedy. Find out how you can get involved here.

• The Red Cross says the best way to help right now is to get in touch with loved ones through its Safe And Well Listings. The organization is not asking for blood donations at this time.

• The Salvation Army has deployed four mobile feeding kitchens and more than 30 volunteers to dispense food, drinks and emotional support in Boston. One canteen is stationed at the Family Assistance Center at the Park Plaza Castle where survivors and first responders are congregating. Find out how you can get involved here.

• Some marathon runners are stranded in Boston and in need places to stay. Find out how you can offer housing here.

• Anyone with info about the incident can call 1-800-494-TIPS.


History Of US Bombings, Failed Attempts
The Associated Press

(April 16, 2013) -- Here is a list of some of the worst bombings in the US dating back to the 1800s, including some famous attempts that failed:

April 15, 2013: Two bombs explode in the packed streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 140.

Jan. 17, 2011: A backpack bomb is placed along a Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Wash., meant to kill and injure participants in a civil rights march, but is found and disabled before it can explode. White supremacist Kevin Harpham is convicted and sentenced to 32 years in federal prison.

May 1, 2010: Pakistani immigrant Faisal Shahzad leaves an explosives-laden SUV in New York's Times Square, hoping to detonate it on a busy night. Street vendors spot smoke coming from the vehicle and the bomb is disabled. Shahzad is arrested as he tries to leave the country and is sentenced to life in prison.

Dec. 25, 2009: The so-called "underwear bomber," Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is subdued by passengers and crew after trying to blow up an airliner heading from Paris to Detroit using explosives hidden in his undergarments. He's sentenced to life in prison.

Sept. 11, 2001: Four commercial jets are hijacked by 19 al-Qaida militants and used as suicide bombs, bringing down the two towers of New York City's World Trade Center and crashing into the Pentagon. Nearly 3,000 people are killed in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Jan 22, 1998: Theodore Kaczynski pleads guilty in Sacramento, Calif., to being the Unabomber in return for a sentence of life in prison without parole. He's locked up in the federal Supermax prison in Colorado for killing three people and injuring 23 during a nationwide bombing spree between 1978 and 1995.

July 27, 1996: A bomb explodes at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during the Summer Games, killing two people and injuring more than 100. Eric Robert Rudolph is arrested in 2003. He pleads guilty and is sentenced to life in prison.

April 19, 1995: A car bomb parked outside the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City kills 168 people and injures more than 500. It is the deadliest US bombing in 75 years. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are convicted. McVeigh is executed in 2001 and Nichols is sentenced to life in prison.

Feb. 26, 1993: A bomb in a van explodes in the underground World Trade Center garage in New York City, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000. Five extremists are eventually convicted.

Dec. 29, 1975: A bomb hidden in a locker explodes at the TWA terminal at New York's LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people and injuring 75. Palestinian, Puerto Rican and Croatian groups are suspected, but no arrests are made.

Jan. 29, 1975: The US State Department building in Washington, D.C., is bombed by the radical left group Weather Underground. No one is killed.

Jan. 24, 1975: A bomb goes off at historic Fraunces Tavern in New York City, killing four people. It was one of 49 bombings attributed to the Puerto Rican nationalist group FALN between 1974 and 1977 in New York.

Aug. 6, 1974: A bomb goes off at Los Angeles International Airport, killing three people and injuring 36. Muharem Kurbegovic, a Yugoslavian national who became known as the "Alphabet Bomber," is convicted.

Jan. 27, 1972: A bomb wrecks the New York City office of impresario Sol Hurok, who had been booking Soviet artists. One person is killed and nine are injured, Hurok among them. A caller claiming to represent Soviet Jews claims responsibility, but no arrests are made.

March 1, 1971: The Senate wing of the US Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., is bombed by the radical left group Weather Underground. No one is killed.

Sept. 16, 1963: Four black girls are killed in a bombing at Birmingham, Ala.'s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Years later, juries convicted three Ku Klux Klansmen and one suspected accomplice died without ever having been charged. One of the four is still in prison and the others are dead.

1951-56: George Metesky, a former Consolidated Edison employee with a grudge against the company, sets off a series of blasts at New York landmarks, including Grand Central station and Radio City Music Hall. No one is killed. Known as The Mad Bomber, Metesky spends 16 years in a mental hospital.

May 18, 1927: 45 people – 38 of them children – are killed when a school district treasurer, Andrew Kehoe, lines the Bath Consolidated School near Lansing, Mich., with hundreds of pounds of dynamite, and blows it up. Investigators say Kehoe, who also died in the blast, thought he would lose his farm because he couldn't pay property taxes used to build the school.

Sept. 16, 1920: A bomb explodes in New York City's Wall Street area, killing 40 and injuring hundreds. Authorities conclude it was the work of "anarchists" and come up with a list of suspects, but all flee to Russia.

Oct. 1, 1910: The Los Angeles Times building is dynamited during a labor dispute, killing 20 people. Two leaders of the ironworkers union plead guilty.

May 4, 1886: A bomb blast during a labor rally at Chicago's Haymarket Square kills 11 people, including seven police officers, and injures more than 100. Eight "anarchists" are tried for inciting riot. Four are hanged, one commits suicide and three win pardons after seven years in prison.

History compiled by AP News Researchers Jennifer Farrar and Susan James.

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