Deval Patrick, State Police defend response to Boston Marathon bombings

Governor Deval Patrick on Friday defended the decision last week to shut down Boston and several area municipalities during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

“I think we did what we should have done and were supposed to do with the always-imperfect information that you have at the time,” Patrick told reporters after publicly recognizing state executive branch workers who had assisted in the government response to last week’s terrorist attack.

At the same press conference, State Police Colonel Timothy Alben rejected the suggestion that there had been a breakdown in data-sharing between federal and state agencies responsible for preventing terrorism.

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“I think we need to put this to rest. Last Thursday, when we went to the media and disclosed all of those photographs and videos, it was because we did not have an identification of who this subject was,” said Alben.

“We did not know who subject number two was, or subject number one, prior to last Thursday. It’s the events of Thursday evening that really precipitated the identification of those individuals. No one knew their identification prior to that,” Alben said.

Alben said the State Police had sufficient access to the FBI and its data, as questions persist about why Tamerlan Tsarnaev had appeared on both CIA and FBI watch lists but did not receive greater scrutiny even after the bombings.

Instead, authorities turned to the public for assistance in the form of photographs and videos, which ultimately homed in on the Tsarnaev brothers.

The Friday-morning event was a late public addition to Patrick’s schedule, coming immediately before a Cabinet meeting. The governor spoke glowingly of the first responders in attendance, as well as workers in other corners of government, some of whom were at the site of the attack and helped the wounded.