New York City was next on the list for the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday afternoon.
Bloomberg said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told the FBI that he and his brother, Tamerlan, intended to drive to New York City to detonate bombs. Bloomberg said the FBI told the city on Wednesday night of the suspects' plans.
"One thing is for sure, they would have seen an enormous police presence," Bloomberg said at a news conference, where he was joined by NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Kelly said they learned of the brothers' plans through the anti-terrorism task force and that the brothers spontaneously decided on Times Square as a target. He said the pair had six explosive devices: one pressure-cooker bomb and five pipe bombs.
He said, however, there is no indication now that New York City is a target.
The marathon bombings suspects' plan fizzled when they became involved in a shootout with police after hijacking a car in suburban Boston, a source close to the investigation said earlier.
The brother first told the FBI the duo was going to head to New York after they killed the MIT police officer in order to "party" in the city, hence their demand that the carjack victim withdraw money from an ATM to fund their trip.
The brother then explained that they had also planned to set off the balance of their explosives at some point in Times Square.
The source said the Times Square plan "was aspirational rather than operational." But those statements contributed to the FBI's spreading out to various areas in the metropolitan area to follow leads.
Thursday afternoon Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said on Fox News, "This was coming to Times Square . . . police believe they were talking about an attempted attack on Times Square."
Dzhokhar, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who died Friday in a shootout with police, are accused of setting off the April 15 explosions that killed three people and injured more than 260 during the 117th Boston Marathon.
With Gary Dymski