New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters Thursday afternoon that the Boston Marathon bombers had “spontaneously” planned to drive to Times Square with their unused six explosives.
Both Bloomberg and Kelly were sure to make it clear that they were not present for the interrogation of the remaining suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who is being held at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston.
However, FBI and local Boston authorities interviewed Tsarnaev twice over the weekend following the Boston Marathon bombings which claimed the lives of three people. It wasn’t until the second interrogation when Tsarnaev was more “lucid” and “detailed” that he elaborated on his and his brother Tamerlan’s plan to drive to New York City on Thursday.
When Dzhokhar and Tamerlan hijacked a car in Boston on Thursday evening, just three days after their fatal Boston Marathon bombings April 15, they had initially intended to head to New York City to “party.”
It was a “spontaneous” decision to use their remaining explosives - 1 pressure cooker bomb and 5 pipe bombs - in Times Square.
There is “no idea” as to where the Tsarnaev brothers were planning on taking their unused explosives before deciding on New York City.
Their plan was thwarted when the car they had hijacked was low on gas and they made a stop at a gas station. It was there that the driver of the car made an escape, and police were alerted.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev also died during the shootout. His brother Dzohkar remained on the run, causing a massive lockdown in Watertown, MA until he was located and apprehended late on the Friday evening the next day.
Dzohkar Tsarnaev was taken to Beth Israel Hospital where he now remains with injuries he sustained during the Thursday shootout at MIT. Reports initially said that he may not be able to speak or deliver any answers at all because of his injuries, but the new information presented has proven otherwise.
During the press conference, Commissioner Ray Kelly said that Tsarnaev was photographed twice in New York City during 2012. Though the reasoning for his visit to NYC is not clear, police are investigating the matter, as well as working to identify the people he was with at the time.
Mayor Bloomberg said during the press conference that Commissioner Kelly deployed heightened security throughout the city as soon as news of the Boston explosions broke on Monday April 15.
Commissioner Kelly added that the suspects would have encountered a lot of police in Times Square by time of projected arrival on late Thursday night or early Friday morning. Mayor Bloomberg pointed out, however, that it is not known whether or not the suspects would have enacted their plot immediately or not.
When asked whether or not the technology and police presence in not only Times Square but the rest of the city would have prevented the attack, Commissioner Kelly said, “We have a lot of presence, a lot of resources, but we have no guarantees.”
Bloomberg clarified that more belief was given to the second interrogation rather than the first because, “We have an obligation to put that information out ... he was a lot more lucid and gave more detailed information in the second questioning period.”
“Whether we believe it or not, we are going to take everything seriously, we need to assume the worst,” said Mayor Bloomberg adding, “It’d be wonderful if it weren’t true.”
Both Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg said that they would like to expand not only on the number of cameras in use for security purposes, but also on their abilities by implementing algorithms and analytics.
Bloomberg said, “Wherever there are large groups of people, that’s where we’ll put our cameras. However, you’ll never know where they all are.”
“No idea” where the suspects were planning on taking bombs before NYC plot materialized
In closing, Bloomberg said that he felt “safe” going out tonight in New York City and that “you’re probably safer here than anyplace else.”
He added that “Ray Kelly and the NYPD have done a spectacular job of keeping us safe.”
Here’s video of Bloomberg and Kelly’s press address on Thursday: