Aides update Obama on Boston manhunt

3:20 PM, Apr 19, 2013   |    comments
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President Obama (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP)


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(USA TODAY) President Obama is being constantly updated on the dramatic events in the Boston area, while White House officials remain mum about the manhunt for a second suspect in Monday's bombing attack at the Boston Marathon.

The White House postponed its daily news briefing "until further notice."

FBI Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General Eric Holder went to the White House Situation Room at mid-morning to brief Obama, who is also receiving constant updates from counter-terrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.

The topic of the briefing that began at 9:45 a.m., said a White House statement: "Developments in the investigation as well as the events in Boston and Watertown, MA."

One suspect is dead, while a second and perhaps others remain at large.

White House officials have declined to comment on the rapidly developing events, including reports that the two major suspects are brothers who hail from a Russian region near Chechnya.

The brothers are also suspected of killing a police officer, hijacking a car, robbing a 7-11, hurling explosives at police during a car chase, and engaging in a gun battle that left one dead and from which the other escaped.

Later, near noon, a series of high-ranking officials began streaming into the West Wing: Secretary of State John Kerry, CIA Director John Brennan, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for a previously scheduled national security meeting.

"A number of Cabinet Secretaries and other senior officials are at the White House to participate in a previously scheduled meeting of National Security Principals," said a White House statement. "These meetings, which are held on a regular basis, are chaired by the National Security Adviser."

Also participating in Friday's briefing at the White House: Vice President Biden, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Secretary of State John Kerry, and CIA Director John Brennan joined by video conference," the White House said.

Obama has no public events on his schedule, but may say something later as events unfold in the Boston area.

David Jackson, USA TODAY

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