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Terrorism Expert: Anytime There’s A Public Event It’s A Target

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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 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)

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BOSTON, Mass. (WWJ) - After dozens of people were injured and at least two people were killed in explosions Monday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, many are already asking — was this an act of terror?

Jonathon White, terrorism expert at Grand Valley State University, said it’s important not to jump to conclusions.

“It takes awhile to piece together these things, to find out exactly what happened,” said White, speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950.

“Anytime there’s a public event, obviously, it’s a target. And I would say, just let the facts come in … because we don’t have a real picture right now. — very few people do,” said White. “And that’s what the scene commander  whoever it is — whether it is an ATF commander or a local Boston police officer — that’s what the scene commander is trying to gather right now — the most accurate picture possible.”

White said there’s always a danger that media reports can be used by groups wanting to get their message across, before the full facts are in.

Monday afternoon, WWJ was hearing stories from local people who traveled to Boston for the event.

Susan Hollyer, whose husband was running in the race, said they were already back at the hotel when they heard the news.

Hollyer said, because there were so many people, it took her 30 minutes to find her husband after he finished the marathon — and that was before the explosions.

“It’s a really long wait. There’s so many people down here running. It’s really a huge event,” Hollyer said. “So, I’m sure there are a lot of people that are really scared, you know, who haven’t yet met up with the person there are here to support.”

Hollyer was, at the same time, both shaken and thankful.

“I mean, it’s the last thing you expect to have happen to somebody when they’re running a marathon. And I saw some video on TV and it looked like there were people just feet away from the finish line who were knocked over by the explosions,” Hollyer said. “So, yes, if course I was very glad that he was able to finish and not be injured.”

Stay tune to WWJ Newsradio 950 for continuing coverage. LISTEN LIVE here and visit our sister site, Boston.CBSLocal.com for more.

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