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Bombers' Times Square plan: Use remaining bombs in New York, FBI says

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“We know they had the capacity to carry out the attacks,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

If the brothers had arrived in Times Square on a Saturday night at 2 or 3 a.m., Kelly says there would have been a significant number of people in the popular tourist spot.

Would more people have been killed or hurt?

“I would not want to guess,” Kelly replied. “You saw the power of the bombs in Boston, and you can only guess the damage in New York.”

But if the brothers had arrived in Times Square they would have found a large police presence, Bloomberg said. They probably would not have noticed all the cameras the city has erected in the area in an effort to head off crime. Some of the cameras are designed to quickly identify packages left on the ground, for example.

However, according to the FBI investigators, before the Tsarnaevs could head to New York, they discovered that the Mercedes SUV they had carjacked needed fuel. They stopped at a gas station, and the owner of the vehicle sprinted away and was able to alert police, who quickly found the vehicle. A chase and firefight ensued; Tamerlan was killed and Dzhokhar eventually captured.

The interrogation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev took place under the Public Security Exception that allowed the FBI to question him before his Miranda rights – including the right to remain silent – were read to him on Monday by a federal magistrate judge. Whether the information in the two FBI interrogations can be used in court is arguable.

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