By Daniel Strauss - 04/25/13 06:32 PM EDT
Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev planned to travel to New York City and detonate explosives in Times Square, FBI officials told New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and other city officials.
Bloomberg shared the new information about the Tsarnaev brothers, who authorities say were behind the Boston Marathon bombings that resulted in three dead and hundreds injured, at a press conference. He was accompanied by New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
The new information came from questioning of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was arrested Friday after a manhunt. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed after a shootout with police. Kelly said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told investigators that he and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had initially decided after the Boston bombings that they would go to New York "to party" but, during later questioning, the younger of the two brother said they had "spontaneously" decided to drive to Times Square to detonate more explosives.
"They would drive to Times Square that same night," Kelly said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told authorities that the plan fell apart because they quickly realized they needed more gas for the car they were in. That forced them to stop at a local gas station, allowing police officers to eventually catch up to them. The manhunt ended Friday night when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested while hiding out in Watertown, Mass. He is currently in a Boston hospital receiving treatment for injuries he suffered during the chase.
Kelly said there was no evidence to suggest that New York is currently in danger.
On Monday, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with one count of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction on person and property in the United States and also charged with one count of attempting to use an improvised explosive device for malicious destruction of property. If convicted, he could face life in prison or the death penalty.
A U.S. law enforcement source and four officials briefed on his interrogation told The Associated Press that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev immediately stopped talking after he was given his Miranda warning.
Since the bombing, lawmakers have questioned what federal law enforcement agencies could have done to prevent the bombing, especially given that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was on a number of watch lists. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Thursday that the Obama administration was ultimately to blame for not being able to stop the bombing.
"I have no idea who bears the blame. I just know the system is broken. The ultimate blame I think is with the administration," Graham said. "The FBI and the CIA are, they have great people, but you know we're going backwards in national security. Benghazi and Boston to me are examples of us going backward."