By MARK PRATT from the Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — There are no known threats to this year’s Boston Marathon, but on the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attack that killed three spectators, federal, state and city law enforcement leaders said Thursday that they are prepared for anything.
“At this point in time, the FBI is not aware of any specific or credible threats targeting this year’s race,” Joseph Bonavolonta, head of the FBI’s Boston office, said at a news conference. “And while we’re confident in this assessment at this particular time, we are asking you to remain vigilant because we all know how quickly the threat landscape can change.”
Law enforcement agencies are more coordinated and prepared than ever to respond to any emergency, officials said, but the public remains the first line of defense. Spectators have been urged to report anything suspicious.
In addition to the multitude of uniformed police officers along the marathon’s route, plainclothes officers will also be dispersed throughout the crowds, officials said.
Bomb squads, hazardous material teams and SWAT units will also be standing at the ready to respond to any emergency situation, police said.
“As you can see, we have a multilayered approach and a well-coordinated plan by both the city, state and federal partners,” Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox said.
Spectators were urged to take public transportation not just to the marathon, but to the annual Patriots’ Day Boston Red Sox game and a possible Boston Bruins playoff game, Cox said.
Marathon fans should also be prepared to pass through security checkpoints in some areas where they will be subjected to bag checks, authorities said.
In addition to the three people killed in the 2013 attack, 17 people lost limbs and nearly 300 others were injured when two pressure-cooker bombs exploded at the finish line, putting a violent end to that year’s race.
Those victims and their families will be on everyone’s minds this year, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said.
“This year’s 10-year anniversary, the marking of a decade since the horrific attacks, brings with it another set of emotions and reflections,” she said.