The accused Boston Marathon bombing suspects also wanted to set off explosives in New York City, officials said Thursday.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators that he and his older brother had decided spontaneously Thursday night to drive to New York and launch an attack with their five pipe bombs and a pressure-cooker bomb like the ones that blew up at the marathon.
“They discussed this while driving around in a Mercedes SUV that they hijacked after they shot and killed the officer at MIT,” the police commissioner 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.”
The driver escaped and called police, Kelly said. That set off the gunbattle and manhunt that ended a day later with Dzhokhar captured and 26-year-old Tsarnaev Tamerlan dead.
“We don’t know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists had they arrived here from Boston,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “We’re just thankful that we didn’t have to find out that answer.”
Tsarnaev was interrogated in his hospital room over a period of 16 hours without being read his constitutional rights. He immediately stopped talking after a magistrate judge and a representative from the U.S. Attorney’s office entered the room and gave him his Miranda warning, according to a U.S. law enforcement official and others briefed on the interrogation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.