- The Washington Times - Monday, April 15, 2013

President Obama has been briefed about the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and his administration is in contact with state and local authorities, a White House official said Monday.

In the wake of the explosions that killed at least two people and sent dozens to the hospital, a White House official said FBI Director Robert Mueller and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano briefed Mr. Obama on the investigation and response to the explosions, including ongoing coordination between federal agencies and state and local officials.

Mr. Obama directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response.

“Our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injuries. I don’t know how many there are,” Vice President Joseph R. Biden said.

The White House has yet to weigh on on whether the two explosions that abruptly ended the marathon are terrorism-related, but Washington, D.C., and New York City are on high alert in the wake of the dual deadly bombs.

Security outside the White House was stepped up following the two explosions in Boston.

Secret Service personnel pushed back members of the public across the street from the White House into Lafayette Park, and the Secret Service shut down Pennsylvania Avenue during the peak of spring tourism season in Washington.

At 6:10 p.m. from the White House, Mr. Obama is expected to deliver a statement about the explosions.

The Senate observed a moment of silence for the victims just before an evening vote, and Speaker John A. Boehner was scheduled to lead a moment of silence during a scheduled House vote later Monday.

— Stephen Dinan contributed to this article.

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