Bombers ‘planned Times Square hit’

AFP-JIJI

The Tsarnaev brothers, accused of staging the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings, planned to detonate more explosives in New York’s Times Square as they were being hunted by police, New York City officials said Thursday.

New York police chief Ray Kelly said the pair intended to use a pressure-cooker bomb — similar to the two that exploded at the marathon — as well as five pipe bombs and improvised grenades they still had on hand as they drove around in a hijacked black Mercedes.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev confessed the plan to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents from his hospital bed, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “Last night, we were informed by the FBI that the surviving attacker revealed that New York City was next on their list of targets,” Bloomberg told reporters.

The pair — accused of carrying out the attacks near the Boston Marathon finish line that killed three people and wounded 264 — aimed to use their remaining explosives in Times Square, he added.

The 19-year-old and his elder brother, Tamerlan, who was shot dead during a police chase days after the attack, made a “spontaneous” decision to go to New York as they raced around the Boston suburbs in a car with at least six bombs, according to Kelly.

But the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee disputed that claim, saying it was more likely the Tsarnaev brothers were planning another attack in Boston instead.