News / USA

Bloomberg: Boston Bombing Suspects Targeted NYC

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, left, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg hold news conference, New York, April, 25, 2013.
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, left, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg hold news conference, New York, April, 25, 2013.
Carolyn Weaver
New York's mayor and police commissioner told reporters Thursday that the suspects in last week's deadly Boston bombings made a spontaneous plan to attack New York City -- but said it never got beyond the talking stage.

New York officials say the brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, briefly planned to set off their remaining shrapnel bombs in Times Square. 

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke to reporters Thursday.

“He and his brother had intended to drive to New York and detonate additional explosives in Times Square.  They had built them and had capacity to carry out these attacks,” Bloomberg said.

Police Commissioner Kelly said the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, reportedly told investigators that he and his brother made a "spontaneous" plan to go to New York as they were riding around in a hijacked car two days after the Boston bombing.  But they dropped the idea when they noticed the car was low on gas. 

Within hours, the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police.

Glen Carle, a top-ranking intelligence official in the administration of President George W. Bush, said he was surprised that New York officials chose to highlight a stillborn plan.  He noted that investigators believe the brothers acted alone and were not part of a larger group of terrorists.

“It sounds pretty clear that these two guys were panicking and scrambling, and I don’t really understand why one needs to have a press conference to characterize something as a grave threat to the metropolis when it doesn’t sound that way to me,” he said.

Mayor Bloomberg also noted that New York City has a huge police force, and a network of cameras in Times Square that might have prevented any attack from being carried out.  But, he said, there could be no guarantees of that.

Suspects' Parents Speak

In Russia, parents of the Tsarnaev brothers said their sons did not carry out the April 15 Boston attack, which killed three people and injured more than 250 others.
 
Mother of the Boston bombing suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, with the suspects' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, addressing news conference in Makhachkala, southern Russian province of Dagestan, April 25, 2013.Mother of the Boston bombing suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, with the suspects' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, addressing news conference in Makhachkala, southern Russian province of Dagestan, April 25, 2013.
x
Mother of the Boston bombing suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, with the suspects' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, addressing news conference in Makhachkala, southern Russian province of Dagestan, April 25, 2013.
Mother of the Boston bombing suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, with the suspects' father, Anzor Tsarnaev, addressing news conference in Makhachkala, southern Russian province of Dagestan, April 25, 2013.
Their mother accused U.S. authorities of needlessly killing Tamerlan. In a news conference in Makhachkala, both parents — Anzor Tsarnaev and his former wife Zubeidat — said their sons were framed.
 
While Tamerlan died in an April 19 shootout with police at age 26, his 19-year-old brother now faces a charge of using a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a possible death sentence if he is convicted.
 
Zubeidat Tsarnaeva angrily claimed police did not have to kill Tamerlan.
 
"What have you done with my son? He was alive," she said. "Why did they need to kill him? Why didn't they send him to, you know, Guantanamo or wherever? Why did they kill him? Why? Why did they have to kill him? They got him alive, right? He was in their hands."
 
According to reports by numerous news agencies, Tamerlan died as a result of injuries sustained in the early-morning shootout with police, during which, investigators say, he was run over by vehicle operated by his younger brother as he lay wounded.
 
Zubeidat said she would not accept that her sons had planted the bombs.
 
Anzor Tsarnaev said he plans to return to the United States in the coming days to bury Tamerlan and hopefully see Dzhokhar, now held by authorities in a Boston hospital.

Intel Probe

U.S. officials are continuing to examine whether the Boston Marathon attack could have been prevented, as warning signs emerged that Tamerlan was turning toward radical Islamic beliefs.
 
Senator Lindsey Graham said he believes Boston is becoming "a case study in system failure" by U.S. intelligence agencies.
 
“We need to understand that bin Laden may be dead, but the war against radical Islam is very much alive," he said. "Radical Islam is on the march and we need to up our game.”
 
Authorities say Tamerlan was placed on a U.S. counter-terrorism list in late 2011, when the CIA asked that his name be placed on the list after it was contacted by the Russian government with regarding concerns that he had become ideologically radicalized.
 
Moscow also issued a similar warning to the FBI earlier in 2011. Officials say the agency launched an investigation, but eventually concluded he posed no threat.
 
U.S. lawmakers have raised concerns about information sharing between U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon attack. Authorities will brief the full U.S. Senate on the investigation into the bombing.
 
In January 2012, several months after he first came to the attention of U.S. federal agents, Tamerlan left the U.S. for a six-month visit to Russia.
 
U.S. investigators questioned the suspects' parents in the Russian republic of Dagestan to try to determine if Tamerlan had contacts with Islamic extremists.

VOA's Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report

You May Like

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Observer from: Southeastasia
April 26, 2013 5:27 AM
Which is more feasible for the US intelligence to do. To prevent a person from being radicalized, or prevent a radicalized person in the US from assembling a bomb in his house and exploding it in a crowd?

by: Rob Swift from: Great Britain
April 25, 2013 2:59 PM
Their use of the word "Frame" gives their game away.
1) They are running from the Truth.
2)The motive behind it all was picked up from some centre.
3) That centre is violently opposed to the Truth.
I experienced similar here in Britain over a legal case.
Who and what is active here is due to be exposed.
(Nowhere for the rats to run now)

by: Robert Priddy from: Oslo, Norway
April 25, 2013 2:52 PM
This mother is also reported as claiming that there was no real bomb, fake explosions, and no blood. She also accused America of 'taking her sons'. Being Muslims, the parents would have indoctrinated their sons in the normal course in such a society. They may well have realised that it would be better to get away, but later realised they did not really have what it takes to integrate in a modern society.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs