Vice President Joe Biden issued a damning characterization on Wednesday of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Speaking at a memorial service at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for slain MIT police officer Sean Collier, Biden questioned the motives behind terror attacks against the United States. "I get asked, like my colleagues, almost every day since 9/11, 'Why? Why? Why?,'" Biden said.
"Whether it’s al-Qaida central out of the FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] or two twisted, perverted, cowardly, knockoff jihadis here in Boston, why do they do what they do?”
White House press secretary Jay Carney at Wednesday's briefing, minutes after Biden concluded his speech, dismissed the suggestion the vice president said "knockoff jihadis" to minimize any connections bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may have had to a large terrorist organization. Tamerlan was killed during the manhunt; Dzhokhar is in police custody.
"You're making assessments that I'm not going to engage in," Carney said in response to a reporter's question.
He added that "the question of whether or not they had any associations is under investigation by the proper authorities."
Collier was allegedly killed by the two suspects during a confrontation on Thursday night.