D.C. police spokesperson Officer Paul Metcalf tells The Huffington Post that the Metropolitan Police Department is "at a heightened level of security" after explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon went off Monday afternoon.
The Metropolitan Police Department and Metro Transit Police are increasing patrols this afternoon following twin bombings in Boston. Metro Transit Police officers currently on daytime patrols will stay on through the evening rush hour, while additional units are being called in.
Meanwhile, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says that the Metropolitan Police Department will be going to a heightened state of alertness, including the deployment of counter-terrorism units, in the wake of the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Metro announced via Twitter that it would be taking extra security precautions on D.C.'s public transportation system:
Metro Transit Police day-side officers are being held on duty until further notice.Additional patrols through rush hour. #wmata
— @wmata (@wmata) April 15, 2013
Metro Transit Police increase patrols during this evening's rush hour wmata.com/tiny.cfm?id=54…
— @wmata (@wmata) April 15, 2013
Metro Transit Police phone 202-962-2121.Program in your cell phone.Report any suspicious activity or unattended packages. #wmata
— @wmata (@wmata) April 15, 2013
A police spokesperson tells HuffPost that as of Monday at 4:30 p.m., there are no changes to Tuesday's Emancipation Day Parade and Festival plans.
Multiple sources report that security has been increased around the White House.
Pennsylvania ave cleared out of pedestrians. Lafayette park remains open. twitter.com/ZekeJMiller/st…
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) April 15, 2013
The cleared grounds can be seen in these photos taken just after 4 p.m. on Monday:
At his 6 p.m. press conference, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said we "don't have any credible information that would suggest there is any specific threat" to Washington.
"We believe that we are well prepared to defend the people who live here and the many thousands that visit," Gray said.
Chief of Police Cathy Lanier said that people in D.C. "will see a visible increase in [police] presence" following the Boston explosions. Lanier said that other extra security measures in place wouldn't be visible.
Gray reemphasized the same points in a statement sent out after the press conference:
Mayor Vincent C. Gray today said the District’s public-safety officials are responding to the bombings at today’s Boston Marathon by following established protocols designed to heighten sensitivity to potential risks in the wake of apparent terrorist attacks in other parts of the country.
“We have been monitoring the situation in Boston and any possible consequences for the District since shortly after this tragic incident occurred, and our public-safety officials and I are in close contact with all our federal and regional partners,” Mayor Gray said. “While at this time there is no information regarding any specific credible threat against targets in our region, we have plans in place to address these types of incidents. We are currently implementing those plans. While at this point I cannot go into significant detail about specific response actions and deployments, I can say that the District government is well-prepared to protect the safety of all those who live, visit and do business in the nation’s capital.”
Mayor Gray continued: “I remind all residents and visitors to remain vigilant and report anything that is out of place to authorities, including the Metropolitan Police Department at 911 and Metro Transit Police at 202-962-2121.”
The Mayor concluded: “The District is keenly aware of the trauma that terrorist acts inflict not only on individual victims and their families, but also on entire communities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and Mayor Thomas Menino. We stand ready to assist them in any way we possibly can.”
Update, 9 a.m.: D.C.'s Emancipation Day parade is still scheduled to go on as planned, beginning at 11 a.m.
"Come out and enjoy the events," D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told NBC4. "We have a very strong security plan in place."
The D.C. government website has a list of activities to celebrate the day -- April 16, 1862 -- slavery was abolished in the District of Columbia.
Yahoo has more on the history of the D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act:
The act, signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War, paid D.C. slave owners up to $300 to give up their slaves and ultimately freed more than 3,000 slaves, according to the U.S. Senate website.
The act set a precedent for the Emancipation Proclamation that would come several months later, according to City Councilman Vincent Orange, who is the chair of the event's oversight committee.
"It's the only time in history that the federal government paid $1 million in 1862 to free the slaves," Orange told ABC News. "Clearly, that was part of Lincoln's strategy to win civil war."
This is a developing story...
BEFORE YOU GO
04/19/2013 2:30 AM EDT
GLOBE: Bombing Suspect In Custody, Another Remains On The Loose
One marathon suspect has been captured, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation.
Another remains on the loose in Watertown after a firefight with police. Authorities have established a 20-block perimeter as they search for him.
Read more here.
04/19/2013 12:44 AM EDT
Unconfirmed Photo Of Suspect 2 In Boston Marathon Bombing Emerges On Facebook
Just hours after the FBI released the first photos of suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, a new photo of Suspect 2 may have emerged.
David Green, 49, of Jacksonville, Fla., had just completed his first Boston Marathon, when he snapped a picture with his iPhone 4S, taken at 2:50, just after the two blasts ripped through the finish line area, killing three people and injuring more than 180 others.
The FBI has not publicly confirmed this photo as Suspect 2, but Green told the Huffington Post that an agent told him, "this is probably the best we have right now."
The man who appears to be Suspect 2 is wearing a white hat with a "3" on the side as seen in the publicly-released photos.
Read more here.
04/18/2013 10:19 PM EDT
Boston Bombing Victim in Iconic Photo Helped Identify Attackers: Bloomberg
Minutes before the bombs blew up in Boston, Jeff Bauman looked into the eyes of the man who tried to kill him.
Just before 3 p.m. on April 15, Bauman was waiting among the crowd for his girlfriend to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A man wearing a cap, sunglasses and a black jacket over a hooded sweatshirt looked at Jeff, 27, and dropped a bag at his feet, his brother, Chris Bauman, said in an interview.
Read more here.
04/18/2013 9:04 PM EDT
Federal Law Enforcement Says Suspects Stayed To Watch Carnage: CNN Reports
04/18/2013 7:26 PM EDT
Right Wing Journalist Goes Ballistic During Press Conference
BOSTON -- Moments after the FBI revealed images of two baseball cap-wearing men wanted for questioning about the Boston bombings, the press conference descended into a sideshow.
A journalist from a far-right wing website called Info Wars shouted out a question accusing the government of carrying out the attack that killed three, and maimed or injured 170 others.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Deslauriers ignored the allegation of a government conspiracy from reporter Daniel Bidondi, but the Alex Jones protege did not stop hollering.
"The FBI lies," Bidondi said. "We've got the proof," he said accusing the government of a "false flag" attack in which it staged the blasts and made them appear like the work of terrorists.
Bidondi found himself at the center of an media scrum with cameras and microphones pointed at his face after law enforcement officials left the podium in the Sheraton hotel.
Another reporter ridiculed Bidondi from across the room, telling him to shut up and calling him an asshole.
The excitement quickly dissipated as reporters returned to delivering the news about the official images of the suspects.
Bidondi has been a presence at other press conferences this week related to the bombing investigation.
--Michael McLaughlin / HuffPost Crime
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Bidondi's last name. We regret the error.
04/18/2013 7:00 PM EDT
Is The Suspect's Hat A Clue?
04/18/2013 6:46 PM EDT
Facial Recognition Expert Reacts To FBI Photos
Dr. Ralph Gross, a facial recognition expert at Carnegie Mellon University, said the FBI photos of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing are likely too grainy to be matched against a driver's license database or Facebook. But he thinks they may be just good enough for someone who knows the individuals to identify them.
"The resolution isn't particularly good. The one that's kind of best is unfortunately a side view -- and in general the face recognition software works best with frontal view," he said.
Research has consistently found, however, that people can spot people they know even in grainy, off-center photographs.
"Humans are actually very good at recognizing people that they are familiar with," Gross said. "Somebody that might know these guys, or might know the way they dress, might certainly be able to recognize them."
The FBI said the men should be considered armed and dangerous, and urged tipsters to call 1-800-CALL-FBI if they believe they have information that could lead to an arrest.
04/18/2013 6:21 PM EDT
Daily News Doctored Photo
The New York Daily News reportedly doctored its front page photograph of the Boston bombings (see update below).
WARNING: LINK GOES TO GRAPHIC PHOTO
04/18/2013 5:37 PM EDT
Hi-Res Image Of People Of Interest
04/18/2013 5:30 PM EDT
FBI Website Down
CNN reports that, because of a flood of traffic, the FBI's site is temporarily down.