The Boston Marathon blast has revived painful memories of the 1998 Omagh bomb in Northern Ireland, a Stormont Assembly member said.
Fear of terrorism has struck again following the Massachusetts attack, Ulster Unionist MLA Ross Hussey added.
Mr Hussey recalled the carnage after the Real IRA exploded a car bomb on a busy main street in the Co Tyrone market town, killing 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins.
He said: "That terror was revisited by people who live in Northern Ireland. I immediately thought of Omagh on the August 15 1998 when my town was visited by evil people, and that fear came back into me, that we could be seeing this revisited on us again."
The bombing was one of the bloodiest of the Northern Ireland conflict.
Assembly members paid tribute to the emergency services and sent best wishes to Boston's injured and relatives.
West Tyrone MLA Mr Hussey added: "The people that carried out this particular attack were terrorists, their intention was to terrorise and they have succeeded. No excuse can be made for this type of activity. How can any human being do that to another?"
The short debate was introduced by SDLP MLA Alex Attwood, who said people in Northern Ireland enjoyed a special relationship with those in Boston.
"The city is at once American, European and Irish," he said. "The images on our screen about what happened in Boston seem all the more chilling. We should remember not just the people of Boston but the people of other countries and other places who lost people in tragic, sudden circumstances as a consequence of terror.
"The scenes and means of terror in Boston had previously been visited on us in our own experience, bombs in crowded streets, in refuse bins, leading to the death of a child. There will be others ... the poignancy of what happened is very relevant to their lives."