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Searching for answers

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
April 16, 2013 1:33:08 PM PDT
So who did this and why? That's really what matters most in this investigation, right? Was it someone "homegrown" ala Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh? Was it a "lone wolf" foreign-sympathizing terrorist? Was it an organized terrorist plot by, say, Al Qaeda?

The answer is so very important, and not just because authorities - and the rest of us - want to catch the perpetrators and bring them to justice. If this were an organized attack by well-known terrorist groups, then the intelligence gathering apparatus of the U.S. would be dealt a serious setback. If this were a lone wolf or homegrown attack, then the fears of so many authorities would have come to fruition. It doesn't take much to blow up a couple of backpacks - or whatever they were - and cause so much damage.

We are in Boston tonight, with the latest developments. And they now include confirmation that authorities have recovered a circuit board, or at least part of one, from one of the bombs. And we're also learning that the bombs were made from a medium-sized pressure cooker. Using these pressure cookers as bombs is nothing new of course. And unfortunately, so many people know about them, it doesn't narrow the list of possible bombers.

What we do know is that whoever did this wanted to inflict plenty of pain. There were nails and ball bearings and who-knows-what-other kinds of shrapnel packed inside. At least 3 people have died ? but with 17 others in critical condition, the death toll can certainly rise.

Our Diana Williams anchors our coverage from Boston, with Jim Dolan digging deeper into the investigation. We'll have the latest, at 11.

Meanwhile, amid all the carnage and horror in Boston, several stories we're keeping an eye on. First, scores of reports of suspicious packages have been reported to the NYPD today. That's led to scares and "situations" including the evacuation of part of LaGuardia Airport. It's not unusual after attacks like this to have a spike in the "see something say something" world.

Also, the flag at New York City Hall, lowered to half-staff - like other flags across the country - but the story here is the flag itself. It's the City of Boston flag. What New York-Boston rivalry? Fahgetaboutit.

And how about Cuba? Are relations warming or what? A foreign ministry officials expressing today "the most heartfelt condolences of the people and government of Cuba to the people and government of the United States, particularly those directly affected by this tragedy." Moreover, the officials said Cuba "rejects and condemns unequivocally all acts of terrorism, in any place, under any circumstance, and with whatever motivation."

It's not unheard of, Cuba offering condolences to the U.S. ? it did that when Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in Libya ? but it's fairly rare. I'm just sayin'.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho (in for Sade Baderinwa) and me, tonight, at 11.

BILL RITTER

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