Hagel: Attack was ‘cruel act of terror’

Monday’s bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon were a “cruel act of terror,” Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelShould Mike Pompeo be confirmed? Intel chief: Federal debt poses 'dire threat' to national security Hagel: Trump is 'an embarrassment' MORE said Tuesday.

“As the president said yesterday, we still do not know who did this and why, and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned or carried out by a terror group, foreign or domestic,” he said.

Hagel said that it was important not to jump to conclusions before having all the facts, but he said Monday’s attack was being approached by the administration as an act of terror.

“An event with multiple explosives devices is clearly act of terror and will be approached as act of terror,” he said.

Hagel commended the response from local, state and federal law enforcement, and noted that the National Guard was among the first-responders on the scene Monday.

The Defense secretary talked about the Boston attack during his opening statement before the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee.

Hagel was briefed on the attack Monday, a senior defense official said. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said at the hearing that military leaders had been in contact with state and federal government officials after the attack and that the military was ready to assist if needed.