The suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had a pressure cooker bomb and five pipe bombs on them for their Times Square trip, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said they “intended to drive to to New York and detonate additional explosives in Times Square.”
“We don’t know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists had they arrived here from Boston,” Bloomberg said. “We’re just thankful that we didn’t have to find out that answer.”
The decision, Kelly said, to come to New York was allegedly made spontaneously as they drove around Boston, 19-year-old Dzhokhar told FBI investigators from his hospital bed in Boston.
Before they could carry out mayhem in Gotham, Boston authorities stopped the brothers in their stolen car and got into a dramatic gun battle that left Tamerlan dead and Dzhokhar on the lam. Authorities said he was discovered Friday night hiding in a boat in a backyard in Watertown, which like Boston itself spent most of Friday on “shelter-in-place” lockdown.
“They discussed this while driving around in a Mercedes SUV that they hijacked after they shot and killed the officer at MIT,” Kelly said. “That plan, however, fell apart when they realized that the vehicle they hijacked was low on gas and ordered the driver to stop at a nearby gas station.”
Initially, Dzhokhar, the surviving brother, had told investigators they wanted to come to New York to party, but he later told authorities that they had discussed attacking Times Square.
Kelly said the suspect has been increasingly lucid as he communicates with investigators.