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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid