After committing the Boston Marathon bombings, suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev planned on heading to New York City – not to attack the Big Apple, but to party.
That information came from Dzhokhar, who is being questioned about the brothers’ role in the attacks at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told the Wall Street Journal.
“There is some information that they may have been intent to come to New York but not to continue what they were doing,” Kelly said, citing information from those interrogating Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19. “The information that we received is something about a party — having a party. Something to the effect of coming to party in New York.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in fair condition at the Boston hospital, where his condition was upgraded Tuesday from serious. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed during a firefight with authorities early Friday morning.
While Kelly said there is no information suggesting the brothers were planning on attacking New York City, the NYPD is investigating possible contacts the Tsarnaevs may have had in the Big Apple.
The police commissioner told the New York Post that the younger Tsarnaev went to New York City in November. He said the NYPD is trying to find out more about the trip, as well as whether the brothers made other visits to New York City.
There was concern that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar were planning on attacking New York City after the driver of a Mercedes-Benz the brothers carjacked near Boston told authorities he heard the word “Manhattan” in a conversation the Tsarnaevs mostly had in Russian or Chechen.
During the shootout with authorities and in the aftermath of the firefight, several improvised explosive devices were recovered from the scene in the Boston suburb of Watertown, including pressure cooker bombs like the ones used in last week’s marathon explosions.
The driver of the Mercedes was unharmed and dropped off at a gas station in Cambridge.
The younger Tsarnaev was arraigned Monday on two terrorism-related charges – use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. The charges call for the death penalty, but neither the Obama administration nor the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts have said whether they’ll seek the death penalty.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly told investigators that he and his brother became self-radicalized Muslims through the Internet, and that the brothers learned to make the pressure cooker bombs via the online magazine Inspire. The magazine was published by al-Qaeda, specifically by U.S. citizen and senior al-Qaeda figure Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in September 2011.
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