Intelligence panels to be briefed

Members of the House and Senate Intelligence panels will be briefed by the FBI on Tuesday about the Boston Marathon bombing that left at least two dead and dozens injured.

Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters that members of the panel had received an initial briefing from James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, about an hour-and-a-half after the afternoon attack.

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), had also been briefed on the attack and said that “by all accounts, this was an act of terrorism.”

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“We just don’t know the motivation or the perpetrators at this point,” McCaul told reporters at the Capitol.

“These are two bombs that went off simultaneously, all the hallmarks of an act of terrorism,” he said. “Mass casualties, spectacular event, that’s what they like to do.”

Maine Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocrats search for 51st net neutrality vote Overnight Tech: States sue FCC over net neutrality repeal | Senate Dems reach 50 votes on measure to override repeal | Dems press Apple on phone slowdowns, kids' health | New Android malware found Overnight Regulation: Dems claim 50 votes in Senate to block net neutrality repeal | Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule | Trump wants to loosen rules on bank loans | Pentagon, FDA to speed up military drug approvals MORE (R) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingMcConnell to Dems: Don't hold government 'hostage' over DACA Overnight Regulation: Regulators kill Perry plan to help coal, nuke plants | Senate Dems to force net neutrality vote | Maine senators oppose offshore drilling plan | SEC halts trading in digital currency firm Maine senators oppose Trump's offshore drilling plans MORE (I) released a statement that also said the bombings had the “hallmarks of a terrorist attack.”

“As members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, we will be continually updated of the situation,” they said.

Lawmakers said they did not have much more information than had what been reported in the media about the attack, in which two nearly simultaneous explosions caused carnage at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The House held a moment of silence for the victims on Monday evening led by Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE (R-Ohio) and Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), who represents the district where the bombs went off.

“It’s a terrible tragedy, but it’s something that Massachusetts has always found a way to come together, and we will again,” said Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D), whose district includes suburbs of Boston.

The attack marred Patriots’ Day, an annual state holiday in Massachusetts that marks the running of one of the world’s most famous marathons.

“It’s obviously way too early to speculate what happens next year, but I do think Massachusetts and New England are extraordinarily proud of our history and extraordinarily proud of our character, and that’s not going to change,” Kennedy said. “No amount of targeting, no bloody act is going to wound the soul of the people of Massachusetts or New England.”