Juliette Kayyem, Ex-Massachusetts Security Adviser, Says Marathon Finish A Vulnerable Spot

WASHINGTON -- Juliette Kayyem, the former homeland security adviser to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick who helped coordinate Boston Marathon security in years past, said the finish line was always a vulnerable spot for a terrorist attack.

"The finish line is a very chaotic," Kayyem, who held the post from January 2007 to March 2009, said in a telephone interview with The Huffington Post. She said there are many people and groups crowding the space -- runners, public health volunteers, family members, a medical unit, police officers. "You just have a lot of activity going on."

"The area is going to be pretty porous," Kayyem added.

Two explosions rocked the finish line on Monday, killing at least two people and injuring more than 100. Kayyem said there was never a serious terrorist threat to the Boston Marathon "that I remember" when she held the homeland security post. Kayyem said her biggest concern during her years was simply the health of the runners. "It was tended to be viewed as a public health event," she explained. "For the most part, this is 30,000 runners not feeling great at the end."

David Monti, editor and publisher of Race Results Weekly, told The New York Times that “finisher density was high” when the explosives went off. “Most race organizers have security plans in place, but let’s face it, marathons are no different than other street celebrations like parades," he said.



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