Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Boston Marathon bombings: Security was high - so what went wrong?

Boston police on bicycles patrol on Commonwealth Avenue following the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013.  Two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line Monday killing two people and injuring dozens.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston police on bicycles patrol on Commonwealth Avenue
President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, about the Boston Marathon explosions. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Medical workers aid an injured man at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013.
Injured people and debris lie on the sidewalk near the Boston Marathon finish line following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/MetroWest Daily News, Ken McGagh) MANDATORY CREDIT
In this image from video provided by WBZ TV, spectators and runners run from what was described as twin explosions that shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Boston. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/WBZTV) MANDATORY CREDIT
Police officers react to a second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013
A Los Angeles Sheriffs Counter Terrorism Unit officer carries an AR-15 assault rifle, as he patrols the entrance to Union Station in Los Angeles Monday, April 15, 2013. The city increased security following bomb explosions in Boston that killed two people and injured more than 80 near the crowded finish line of the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Medical workers aid injured people at the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/The Boston Globe, David L Ryan)
Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A firefighter tends to an injured man following an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
A Boston police officer clears Boylston Street following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner following an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the marathon's finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A flag flies over the finish line as medical workers aid injured people following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the finish line, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A photographer captures the moment an explosion goes off close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon
Medical workers wheel the injured across the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Medical workers and authorities work on the scene near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/WCVB-TV/ABC) MANDATORY CREDIT
Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A runner embraces another woman near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: State police guard an area near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A member of the bomb squad investigates a suspicious item on the road near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A woman is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Massachusetts State Police guard an area near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Massachusetts State Police guard an area near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: People gather near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runners react near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runners react near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runners react near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Boston Police guard an area at the one mile checkpoint near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Boston Police guard an area near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runner gather near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runners talk to Boston Police near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: People look on after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Darren McCollester /Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: An armed state trooper takes position on Dartmouth and Stuart street, near the finish line after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A woman is helped from the scene near the finish line after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: State police guard an area near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated and guarded by police in the wake of two blasts in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
This photo provided by Bruce Mendelsohn shows the scene after two explosions occurred during the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/ Bruce Mendelsohn) MANDATORY CREDIT
A Los Angeles Sheriffs Counter Terrorism Unit deputy patrols Union Station before the start of Los Angeles Dodgers game in Los Angeles Monday, April 15, 2013. The city increased security following bomb explosions in Boston that killed two people and injured more than 80 near the crowded finish line of the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
An injured person is helped on the sidewalk near the Boston Marathon finish line following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/MetroWest Daily News, Ken McGagh) MANDATORY CREDIT
Injured people and debris lie on the sidewalk near the Boston Marathon finish line following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/MetroWest Daily News, Ken McGagh) MANDATORY CREDIT
A Boston Marathon competitor and Boston police run from the area of an explosion near the finish line in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/MetroWest Daily News, Ken McGagh) MANDATORY CREDIT
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A Boston police officer stands near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: National Guard soldiers stand near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A piece of debris rests against a police barricade near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Unclaimed food sits near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A Boston police officer stands near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Unclaimed finish line bags are left near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Boston Police stand near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race, resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A National Guard soldier stands near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Debris and litter cover an empty street near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A Boston police officer stands near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: Unclaimed finish line bags are viewed near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: A performer is dressed as Lady Liberty in Times Square in Manhattan on April 15, 2013 in New York City. The city has announced it will implement heightened security measures in response to today's bombings at the Boston Marathon. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16: A man walks by portable toilets near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race, resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: People walk through Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan on April 15, 2013 in New York City. The city has announced it will implement heightened security measures in response to today's bombings at the Boston Marathon. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: A New York Police Department officer inspects a man's bag in Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan on April 15, 2013 in New York City. The city has announced it will implement heightened security measures in response to today's bombings at the Boston Marathon. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A woman is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: A New York Police Department officer inspects a man's bag in Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan on April 15, 2013 in New York City. The city has announced it will implement heightened security measures in response to today's bombings at the Boston Marathon. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A swat team arrives at the corner of Stuart Street and Dartmouth Street after two explosive devices detonated at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon.
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runners listen to directions from a Boston Police officer at the corner of Stuart Street and Dartmouth Street after two explosive devices detonated at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon.
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: The outter perimeter near Massachusetts Avenue and Newbury Street is secured by police after two explosive devices detonated at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about today's bombing at the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about today's bombing at the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runners listen to directions from a Boston Police officer at the corner of Stuart Street and Dartmouth Street after two explosive devices detonated at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon.
President Barack Obama pauses as he begins to speak in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Blood from victims covers the sidewalk on Boylston Street, at the site of an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. At the right foreground is a folding chair with the design of an American flag on the cover. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated by a person in a protective suit in the wake of two blasts in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A woman looks at the blood on her hands as she is loaded into an ambulance after being injured after two bombs exploded on the marathon route on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: People rush out of the way on the corner of Stuart and Dartmouth St., near the finish line after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A woman looks on as runners pass near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Police and runners stand near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: People gather near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Medical workers runs an injured man past the finish line the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
An unidentified Boston Marathon runner leaves the course crying near Copley Square following an explosion in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runners and police gather near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A police officer directs people around the finish line at the corner of Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue after two explosives detonated during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Carlos Arredondo, who was at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon when two explosives detonated, leaves the scene on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: People walk near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runners gather near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A runner sits near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Emergency personnel take postion at the finish line after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
An unidentified Boston Marathon runner, center, is reunited with loved ones near Copley Square following an explosion in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: People react to a suspicious package on the corner of Dartmouth and Stuart St after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A woman looks on as runners pass near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A member of the bomb squad investigates a suspicious item on the road near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: State police guard an area near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A member of the bomb squad investigates a suspicious item on the road near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A runner reacts near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A runner embraces another woman on the marathon route near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Members of the bomb squad investigate a suspicious item on the road as runners pass near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Two blood stained feet of a man hangs outside an ambulance outside a medical tent located near the finish of the 117th Boston Marathon after two bombs exploded on the marathon route on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runners react near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Runners react near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
This photo provided by Bruce Mendelsohn shows the scene after two explosions occurred during the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/ Bruce Mendelsohn)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A member of the bomb squad investigates a suspicious item on the road near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

When Rene Cappas drove his delivery van into downtown Boston on Monday, just hours before the city’s annual marathon was hit by two explosions, he was stopped at a checkpoint and questioned about where he was heading.

 “They asked me what building I was going to, where I was taking the package, what floor,” he said. Police officers, out in force to patrol the annual event that draws an estimated half a million spectators, also cast an eye inside Mr Cappas’ van.

Harry Flores, who arrived in downtown Boston via public transport, faced no such scrutiny. “There was a lot of security - there is always a lot of security. But I didn’t see any checkpoints,” he said. In contrast, today, with security stepped up across the area in the aftermath of the bombings, his bags were searched as he got on the train.

Other spectators who made their way along the final mile of the marathon also told The Independent that, while they had encountered a significant police presence on Monday, they had not been stopped or their bags searched as they made their way into the heart of the city.

As attention turns to what could have been done to prevent the bombings, and how the security regime might be enhanced in time for next year’s race, the difference between Mr Flores’ and Mr Cappas’ experience on Monday is likely to be among the issues that will be debated among officials.

The security exercise ahead of the event was already vast. In addition to local and state police, authorities had drafted in the support of around 460 members of the Massachusetts National Guard, who were on duty along the marathon route of just over 26 miles (since the explosion, their numbers are reported to have swelled to around 1,000. Many could be seen patrolling downtown Boston today, wearing military-style fatigues and carrying what appeared to be heavy arms).

Meanwhile, before the explosions, bomb detection teams twice swept the race route on Monday, Boston’s Police Commissioner, Ed Davis, said today. Medical tents had been set up, and ambulances were on call.

Will Lachabel, a local taxi driver, said the police presence was visible weeks before the event. “There was heavy security. Its an important area where it [the explosions] happened. All the big hotels and offices are there,” he said. Mr Lachabel said his cab had been stopped and checked by officers only days before the marathon.

David Black, who participated in the race, and was about a kilometre away from the finish line when the first explosion occurred, also spoke of the heavy police presence in the city when he arrived to take part from Detroit a couple of days ago. “Hindsight is 20-20,” he said. “But I don’t fault them [the authorities] for not doing enough. There was clearly a lot of security around Boston,” he added. Like Mr Flores, Mr Black, who did not drive while in Boston, did not encounter a checkpoint. “But I felt safe - absolutely.”

Rudi Boosten, a runner from Holland who in the past has participated in other major marathons, including New York’s, and who had just crossed the finish line when the explosions occurred, said the limited screening for people arriving foot was not unusual. “Maybe they’ll do it next year now,” he said.

As with other big public gatherings across the US, and in many other parts of the world, security at the Boston Marathon was beefed up in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 - but Mr Flores, who has been attending the race for decades, said that a lot more would have to be done to restore the sense of security that was shattered on Monday afternoon. “I don’t know what they do - but they will have to do more. I can see all these guns now. They could bring them out earlier, I don’t know.”

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