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Boston bombers had planned to bomb New York, too

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(JTA) — After the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the perpetrators decided to go to New York to blow up additional targets, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

"New York City was next on their list of targets," Bloomberg said.

Police say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan carried out the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, which killed three people and wounded more than 260. The brothers later killed a university police officer at MIT.

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Thursday that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators from his hospital bed that he and his older brother decided that day to drive to New York and launch an attack. In their stolen SUV, they had five pipe bombs and a pressure-cooker explosive like the ones they used at the marathon, Kelly said.

When the Tsarnaev brothers stopped at a gas station on the outskirts of Boston, the carjacking victim they were holding hostage escaped and called the police, Kelly said. Later that night, police intercepted the brothers in a blazing gun battle that left 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead.

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

The Middlesex County District Attorney’s office in Boston also is building a murder case against the surviving Tsarnaev for the death of MIT police officer Sean Collier, spokeswoman Stephanie Guyotte said.

Investigators and lawmakers briefed by the FBI have said the Tsarnaev brothers — ethnic Chechens from Russia who had lived in the U.S. for about a decade — were motivated by anger over the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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