New information about the Boston Marathon bombers revealed that the Chechnyan brothers were headed to New York City as their next bombing target.
The startling news came to light this afternoon at a press conference held at City Hall.
“Last night, we were informed by the FBI that the surviving attacker revealed that New York City was next on their list of targets,” said New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s original intent when they hijacked a car and its driver in Boston last Thursday night was to drive to New York with bombs and detonate them in Times Square, but their plan fell apart when they became embroiled in a shootout with police.
“Immediately upon news of the explosions in Boston, we fully mobilized the New York City Police Department’s vast counterterrorism operations – because we thought there was a possibility that there could be a related attack here,” continued Kelly.
“We now know that that possibility was – in fact – all too real.”
In fact, extra police details were seen around the entrance to New York City from the George Washington Bridge after the Monday attacks in Boston. Streets had been cleared of local cars, and orange police cones put in their place all around the neighborhoods surrounding the bridge.
Extra NYPD officers were seen at all subway stations in the city.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly revealed today that the surviving brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told the FBI that he and his brother had intended to drive to New York and detonate additional explosives in Times Square.
They had built those additional explosives, and authorities know now they had the capacity to carry out the attacks.
“If, God forbid, they had arrived in New York City and gone to Times Square…they would not have seen the extensive network of cameras that are part of our security initiative, and which can help police identify suspicious movements, such as a package left unattended on the street,” said Kelly.
But these words can hardly be comforting to New Yorkers who may be just waking up to the idea that terrorism can be on any corner at any time.
Kelly played up the idea that the city’s investment in surveillance cameras played an essential role in capturing the two terrorists.
But certainly it was the man who was attacked by the brothers, who fled, that actually identified them. His valor as well as the valor of the neighbor who inspected his dry dock boat, were the two essential acts that brought the living brother into custody.
“The fact is, New York City remains a prime target for those who hate America and want to kill Americans,” concluded Kelly who said the fact bolsters the need for additional funding for counter terrorism funding.
Indeed, though the NYPD do have cameras at select locations, there are no cameras posted by the New York New Jersey Port Authority that runs most of the bridges and tunnels coming in and out of New York City.
“Now, let me turn the floor over to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.”