NEW YORK CITY— The Boston Marathon bombers made a spur-of-the-moment plan to strike Times Square with six bombs, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday.
“Last night, we were informed by the FBI that the surviving attacker revealed that New York City was next on their list of targets,” the mayor said.
Surviving accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had originally told police that he and his brother were headed to the city to “party,” but in a subsequent interview told the feds that "he intended to drive to New York and detonate additional explosives in Times Square," Bloomberg said.
On April 18, as Dzhokhar and his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev drove around the Boston suburb of Watertown in a car-jacked Mercedes SUV, they resolved to drive to the city with one homemade pressure cooker bomb and five pipe bombs, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a press conference Thursday.
"They would drive to Times Square that same night," said Kelly. "In the car they made the decision to go to New York with the remaining explosive devices and detonate them in Times Square."
He said that the plan unraveled on the evening of April 18 when the two brothers realized that the car was running low on gas and ordered the hijacked driver to stop for gas. It was then that the driver was able to run away and get help.
Tamerlan was killed in a wild shootout after the brothers were found and confronted by cops that night. Dzhokhar managed to drive away, but was later found hiding in a boat parked in the driveway of a Watertown home April 19.
The plot on New York shows that the city is still a prime target for terrorists, the mayor said.
''We don't know if we would've been able to stop the terrorists when they arrived here from Boston," Bloomberg said. "We're just thankful that we didn't have to find out that answer. The fact is New York City remains a prime target for those who hate Americans and want to kill Americans.''
Kelly said that Dzhokhar was photographed in Times Square on April 18, 2012 with his friends and again last November.
"The NYPD's Intel Unit is investigating Dzhokhar's movement in New York City along with who he was involved with," Kelly said.