Investigators Name Two Suspects In Boston Bombing
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
We begin this hour with a major break in the investigation into Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon.
RICHARD DESLAURIERS: Today, we are enlisting the public's help to identify the two suspects. After a very detailed analysis of photo, video and other evidence, we are releasing photos of these two suspects. They are identified as Suspect 1 and Suspect 2. They appeared to be associated. Suspect 1 is wearing a dark hat, Suspect 2 is wearing a white hat. Suspect 2 set down a backpack at the site of the second explosion just in front of the Forum restaurant.
SIEGEL: That's FBI special agent in charge Richard DesLauriers at a news conference earlier today. For more on this story, we're joined by NPR's Dina Temple-Raston. And, Dina, the headline out of this briefing isn't just the images, but one word that we heard seven times in that 30-second clip, suspect.
DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: That's right. For the first time since Monday's bombing, there are suspects. The FBI released these photographs of these two 20-something men in hoodies and baseball caps. And they didn't just call them individuals of interest, they call them suspects, and that's meaningful. It means they have enough data to actually charge these men with something. The FBI appealed to the public to help identify them, and they warned - and I thought this was significant - that they considered them armed and extremely dangerous.
SIEGEL: Dina, we've described some of what we can see in these videos. But tell us, when it comes to investigations, how good is the quality here?
TEMPLE-RASTON: Actually, the quality, particularly on the video, is very good. They got surveillance video from outside a restaurant called the Forum restaurant, which is near to where the second explosion happened. And the stills taken from that video of suspect number two, the man in the white baseball cap and hoodie, came from that camera and they're really clear. They have been putting these photographs through facial recognition software for days, hoping to get a match with databases that have driver's license photographs and passports, and that hasn't happened yet, which is why they're appealing to the public now.
SIEGEL: What did the FBI or the other authorities see in these videos that convinced them that these two men aren't just individuals of interest, they are suspects?
TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, apparently, suspect number two appears to be putting down a backpack near the site of that second bombing. And then he walked away from the backpack and a short time later, the explosion happened. He also, if you look at the photographs, he appears to be making a phone call. But the FBI isn't sure exactly what that means yet. The other suspect wasn't seen as, at least as far as we know, actually doing something with the backpack. But the two of them were seen together, which is why he is also seen as a suspect.
SIEGEL: By the way, if suspect number two is indeed making a phone call, he's making it with his left hand.
TEMPLE-RASTON: Maybe that's one more piece of information they had.
SIEGEL: Why did they decide to release these images now?
TEMPLE-RASTON: I think they decided to release it because they did all they could on their own, trying to figure out who these men were by putting them through the databases. There had been an enormous argument within the FBI whether to do this because, basically, in one way, they lose an advantage, and in another way, they gain one. They lose the advantage of surprise. In trying to find these men, if they ID'd them, they might be able to arrest them without incident. The public are not the only people who are going to be seeing these images. These young men may well be seeing their images as well, and that sort of takes away the element of surprise.
SIEGEL: OK. Thank you, Dina.
TEMPLE-RASTON: You're welcome.
SIEGEL: That's NPR's Dina Temple-Raston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.