President Obama Declares Boston Marathon Bombing an "Act of Terror"


President Obama and the FBI have announced that they will be investigated the bombings of the marathon as an act of terrorism. The AP reports, 

"President Barack Obama said Tuesday the deadly Boston Marathon bombings were an act of terrorism but investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international or domestic organization, or perhaps by a "malevolent individual."

Why did it take over 18 hours to label the event terrorism? There are specific reasons for this, as explored by Wired

"( ... )There’s a legalistic subtlety at work here. Calling something an “act of terror” is a legally neutral term. “Terrorism” is more problematic: a defense attorney could, for instance, say that Obama prejudiced the investigation by pre-stigmatizing a potential suspect as a terrorist."

It is vitally important the language used in reporting this is understood. The president and the FBI are using the words "act of terrorism." What does that mean?

(n) terrorismact of terrorismterrorist act (the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear).

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and the Pakistan Taliban have both made statements to the press denying any responsibility for the dual bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday. 

The statement from the Muslim Brotherhood says:

"(Islamic law) firmly rejects assaults on civilians and doesn't accept any means of terrorizing people, regardless of their religion, color, or gender. The sinful assaults in Boston ascertain the necessity of solidarity of the international community in efforts to achieve justice and well-being for all nations and communities, and to ensure that these crimes don't take place again."

This story is obviously still developing as the investigation has just started to get underway.