{{show_title_date || "Tom Ridge: Will take time to identify marathon perpetrators, 4/16/13, 7:08 AM ET"}}

Former Homeland Security chief warns investigation will be ‘very slow’ process


Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge peeled back the curtain on the investigation underway in Boston on Tuesday’s Morning Joe.

Ridge, who was appointed by President George W. Bush after the attacks on 9/11, developed the country’s first national counter-terrorism strategy.

“They will identify the perpetrators, they will find out who is responsible for this horrific act, but it’s going to take some time,” he said.

He explained the process of sifting through the masses of media for evidence in a terror case.

“It’s drudge work. It is painstakingly focused on the slightest detail,” Ridge said. “The shrapnel that was used, there may be some evidence there. You’ve had surveillance cameras, I’m quite confident; you’ve had literally hundreds, if not thousands of people with their iPhones taking photographs. And as you go through all the video evidence and the forensic evidence that they are able to accumulate based on the scene itself, it is a painstaking, bit by bit, very slow, methodical, incremental process.”

Law enforcement has already appealed to witnesses to send them videos and photographs taken at the site for potential evidence. Richard DesLauriers, the FBI agent in charge in Boston, said Tuesday they had received “voluminous tips” and were analyzing the crime scene.

“We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime, and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice,” DesLauriers said.

Ridge pointed to the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics, where the perpetrator’s identity wasn’t known for more than a year.

“Remember that ’96 bombing in Atlanta, the pipe bomb, it took some time to determine who the responsible party was, but I’m confident in the ability of the law enforcement community to identify the actor in this matter. Absolutely confident,” Ridge said.

Former Homeland Security chief warns investigation will be 'very slow' process