According to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the pair of brothers who attacked the Boston Marathon had plans to attack Times Square as well. He recently addressed this at a press conference, stating that "We don't know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists had they arrived here from Boston, we are just thankful that we didn't have to find out that answer."
The brothers responsible for the attack in Boston: 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and 19-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who hijacked a Mercedes SUV on Thursday, April 18 and were planning to drive south to "party" in New York City. The plan fell apart when they realized that the car was low on gas and ordered the victim to stop at a gas station, where he escaped. Later that night, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a confrontation with authorities in Watertown, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. Dzhokar Tsarnaev fled and hid, but was found less than 24 hours later in a boat parked in somebody's backyard.
"If God forbid they had arrived in New York City and had gone to Times Square, one thing is for sure." Mayor Bloomberg stated confidently, "They would have seen an enormous police presence. But 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 packages left unattended on the streets."
Dzhokar Tsarnaev, in custody at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, revealed that it was a spontaneous decision to detonate more explosives in Times Square. They hadn't had it planned all along, and hijacked the SUV in order to drive south. But pre-meditated or not, the threat to New York City was very real. The Tsarnaev brothers were armed with one pressure cooker explosive stuffed with shrapnel, identical to the ones used in Boston, and five pipe bombs.
Dzhokar Tsarnaev also revealed that what motivated the attack were their feelings about the U.S. fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The brothers had no connections with any major terrorist groups. Evidence suggests that the brothers were "self-radicalized" by Internet news about the wars in the Middle East.