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Fact vs. fiction breakdown of Boston bombing media coverage

Posted: 6:32 PM, Apr 17, 2013
Updated: 2013-04-17 18:32:30-04

MANHATTAN (PIX11) – In the moments following the twin bombings during the Boston Marathon, the flow of information was nothing short of fast and furious, via social media and multiple media outlets.  In the hours and days following, however, we have come to find there was some misinformation, which PIX 11 sorted out with Sal LiFrieri, a counter-terrorism expert.

One key piece of evidence recovered is the lid from the pressure cooker believed to be used in the bombings.   The hope is it will help move the investigation forward and possibly be traced.  According to LaFrieri, that is entirely possible.

“It’s fact up to the point of how much evidence was recovered.  If it has a serial number to it or a batch number, it would be traceable,” said LaFrieri.

Hours after the attack, numerous media outlets reported a Saudi national and student was considered a suspect or person of interest.  However, we now know the real story, that the man was in fact not a suspect and merely just an injured witness and victim like so many others.

Shortly after the initial bombings, reports quickly circulated of a third incident at the JFK library, but later deemed a mechanical fire.  However, new reports indicate investigators returned to the library to establish again, if there is any connection to the bombings.

“It could be fact and fiction it’s all dependent upon the outcome of the investigation.  There may be reasons why information is withheld from the public at this point. We just don’t know,” said LaFrieri.

And lastly, in the moments after the blast rumors quickly spread that cell phone service was shut down. That is false, however, because the high volume of calls instead led to cell towers being overloaded.