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April 26, 2013

Police: Two Boston suspects planned to attack New York

NEW YORK — The Boston Marathon bombers were headed for New York’s Times Square to blow up the rest of their explosives, authorities said Thursday in what they portrayed as a chilling, spur-of-the-moment scheme that fell apart when the brothers realized they were low on gas.

“New York City was next on their list of targets,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators from his hospital bed that he and his older brother decided on the spot last Thursday night to drive to New York and launch an attack. In their carjacked SUV they had five pipe bombs and a pressure-cooker explosive like the ones that blew up at the marathon, Kelly said.

The plan collapsed when the Tsarnaev brothers stopped for gas on the outskirts of Boston and the carjacking victim they were holding hostage escaped and called police, Kelly said. Later that night, police intercepted the brothers in a gunbattle that left 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead.

The news caused New Yorkers to shudder with the thought that the city may have narrowly escaped another terrorist attack, though whether the brothers could have made it to the city is an open question. They were two of the most-wanted men in the world, their faces splashed all over the Internet and TV.

Dzhokhar, 19, is charged with carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing April 15 that killed three people and wounded more than 260, and he could get the death penalty.

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