A devastating bomb attack at a Boston marathon event caused 3 deaths and 176 injuries to good-intentioned partakers and spectators, turning the charitable event into a tragedy and sparking fresh fears for terrorism at public events. As reported by The Courier Mail, just before 3pm local time on Monday April 15, two bombs exploded within 100 metres of each other near the finish line of the race at Copley Square where over 500, 000 spectators had gathered in support for the 23, 000 runners. With no-one confessing responsibility by the Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released images from nearby surveillance cameras of two males in an appeal to the public to help identify the suspects. The men were pictured setting down backpacks “within minutes” of the second explosion, and “acting differently” than other horrified onlookers at the time of the explosion. As CNN News reports, a “flood of digital evidence” sent into the FBI saw intelligence being developed within 24 hours of the public appeal, and the men were identified as brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, aged 26 and 19 respectively. A shootout between police and the suspects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took place that night, with a campus police officer and suspect Tamerlan being shot dead. With Dzhokhar escaping police, the Boston metropolitan area was effectively shut down for almost 24 hours in a manhunt for Dzhokhar, who was found by residents hiding in his own backyard in Waterton. Having allegedly shot himself in the throat in a suicide attempt, Dzhokhar was taken to hospital in critical condition, where he remains “unable to speak” but communicating in writing to authorities that he and his brother “acted alone”. Dzhokhar has been charged with “using a weapon of mass destruction” and “malicious destruction of property by means of deadly explosives” as ABC News reports.
Among those killed was 8-year-old Martin Richard and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, who were spectators at the finish line, and Chinese National Lingzi Lu who was partaking in the marathon. The London Marathon took place 6 days after this atrocity in a climate of heightened security, which unquestionably has significant implications for security and risk management for public events and entertainment venues where a large number of people gather without increased security measures, such as that of an airport or high-profile corporate buildings.