A couple of days after allegedly causing death and devastation at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, two brothers “spontaneously” decided to head to a new place to unleash terror — New York City — that city’s mayor said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston bombings, told investigators that he and his brother decided to bomb Times Square as they talked the night of April 18 in a Mercedes SUV they’d just carjacked, New York City Police Commissioner said.
The 19-year-old initially told investigators from a Boston hospital bed that he and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had talked about going to New York to “party.” Then he offered a new account during a second round of questioning Sunday evening into Monday, during which Kelly said Dzhokhar was “a lot more lucid” than the first time he was interviewed.
The brothers had five pipe bombs and a “pressure-cooker bomb” — the latter similar to the bombs used in the Boston blasts — with them in the SUV that they could have used in New York, Kelly said.
Instead, their plan “fell apart” when the SUV ran low on fuel in the Boston area and the Tsarnaevs ordered the driver to pull into a gas station, Kelly said. The driver escaped during the refueling, he said, and police subsequently caught up with the Tsarnaevs — first in a shootout after which 26-year-old Tamerlan died, then by capturing Dzhokhar on Friday.
“We don’t know that we would have been able to stop the terrorists had they arrived here from Boston,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “We’re just thankful that we didn’t have to find out that answer.”
Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said investigators believe the Boston bombing suspects were planning another attack “likely in the Boston area.”
There is no evidence that New York City is currently a target of a terror attack stemming from the Boston bombings, Kelly added. Still, he said authorities are investigating two visits that the surviving suspect made to New York City last year.