Significance behind labeling an 'act of terrorism' - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Significance behind labeling Boston Marathon bombings an 'act of terrorism'

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BOSTON ( -- National security experts are sharing new insight into the likely reason officials are investigating Monday's bombings as an act of terrorism.

Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin tells The Wall Street Journal that classifying the Boston Marathon bombings as terrorism allows the FBI to act as the lead agency in the investigation as opposed to local law enforcement. They add that this categorization allows the FBI to create "Joint Terrorism Task Forces" with local authorities.

While there is no widely acknowledged definition of an act of terrorism, Chesney says all acts typically share one thing in common: "unlawful violence intended for political effect."

President Barack Obama stayed clear of labeling the bombings Monday, but announced Tuesday the FBI is investigating them as an act of terrorism.

Three people were killed and over 170 were injured in the bombings on Boylston Street. While officials are investigating the explosions as if they were committed by a terrorist, there is no word on any suspects or a motive.

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