New York: The ethnic Chechen brothers accused of carrying out the Boston marathon bombing planned a new attack in Times Square, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev discussed a possible attack on New York as they drove around the suburbs of Boston trying to escape a manhunt, according to New York police chief Ray Kelly.
Information provided by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been a “horrific reminder that we remain targets for terrorists,” Bloomberg told a news conference.
“Last night we were informed by the FBI that the surviving attacker revealed that New York City was next on their list of targets,” Bloomberg said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told FBI investigators at his hospital bedside that he and his brother had intended to drive to New York and detonate “additional explosives in Times Square,” the mayor added.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police four days after the April 15 Boston marathon bombing which killed three people and injured 264. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was critically wounded in the hunt to detain him and is now recovering in a Boston hospital.
The pair are accused of setting off two pressure cooker bombs at the marathon finish line that sprayed ball-bearings and nails into the crowds.
A policeman was killed and another gravely wounded in the manhunt to catch them.
Before the manhunt started, the brothers had at least one other pressure cooker bomb, five pipe bombs and improvised hand grenades, according to police.
Kelly revealed on Wednesday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had told investigators that the pair planned to go to New York “to party.”
“A subsequent questioning of Dzhokhar revealed that he and his brother decided spontaneously on Times Square as a target,” Kelly said Thursday at the joint news conference with Bloomberg.
“They would drive to Times Square that same night. They discussed this while driving around in a Mercedes SUV that they had hijacked after they shot and killed an MIT police officer,” said Kelly.
“That plan, however, fell apart when they realized that the vehicle that they hijacked was low on gas and ordered the driver to stop at a nearby gas station. The driver used the opportunity to escape and call the police,” he added.
The call by the driver of the hijacked car unleashed the huge manhunt involving thousands of police.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is in fair condition in hospital with gun wounds to his throat, has been charged with using weapons of mass destruction and could face the death penalty if convicted in US federal court.