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State and Nation

April 26, 2013

Officials offer details of Boston suspects' planned NYC attack

— NEW YORK (AP) — Armed with a pressure-cooker explosive and five pipe bombs, the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing made a spur-of-the-moment decision last week to give the Big Apple a taste of their mayhem, New York officials say.

The potentially deadly scheme fell apart when the brothers realized the car they had hijacked was low on gas.

"We don't know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists had they arrived here from Boston," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday. "We're just thankful that we didn't have to find out that answer."

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators at his hospital bed that he and his older brother spontaneously decided the night of April 18 to drive to New York and launch an attack.

But when the Tsarnaev brothers stopped at a gas station on the outskirts of Boston, the carjacking victim they were holding hostage escaped and called police, Kelly said. Later that night, police intercepted the brothers in a blazing gunbattle that left 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead. Dzhokhar, 19, was discovered hiding in a boat in a suburban back yard the next day. He was wounded.

It is questionable whether the Tsarnaevs could have successfully made the 200-mile trip to New York since they had become two of the most-wanted men in the world since the April 15 explosions that killed three people and injured more than 260. Their faces had been splashed all over the Internet and TV in surveillance-camera images released by the FBI. Yet the news that the city may have narrowly escaped another terrorist attack still made New Yorkers shudder.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is charged with carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing April 15 that killed three people and wounded more than 260. He has been moved from a Boston hospital to a federal medical center about 40 miles west of the city, the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday.

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