As expected: Tsarnaevs discussed bombing Times Square, sources say

So this is what Dzhokhar meant when he said they were headed to Manhattan to “party.”

The surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect has told investigators that he and his brother discussed detonating the rest of their explosives in Times Square, senior law enforcement officials told NBC News on Thursday.

The surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, initially told investigators that they planned to go to New York to party after the Boston attack, one source said. The New York police commissioner also gave this account Wednesday.

Under subsequent questioning, the officials said, Tsarnaev said that the brothers had discussed a follow-up attack on Times Square.

The officials cautioned that the idea was undeveloped. One senior official described the plan as “aspirational at most.”

Not sure what “aspirational” means in this context. They had working bombs on them when the cops caught up to them. If they had left Boston sooner, the only thing stopping them from executing the plan was the NYPD’s ability to spot something fishy before the feds had publicly identified them. By “aspirational,” I think all NBC’s sources are saying is that the Tsarnaevs hadn’t fully committed to doing it, or doing it in Times Square specifically, yet. If they’d made it, though, I wonder if their M.O. would have been different. One of the small but important flaws in their marathon plan was putting the bombs on the ground, which kept the blast low and produced lots of severed legs but no severed heads. Would they have learned from that and placed the bombs higher next time to maximize fatalities? Another thing: When did Dzhokhar tell the cops that they were thinking about bombing Times Square? Sounds like new information, but according to the AP and Fox News, he supposedly clammed up after that magistrate gave him the Miranda warnings. Maybe he’s talking again.

While you mull that, enjoy mama Tsarnaev wondering if maybe the blood on the sidewalk at the marathon was paint. Apparently she saw a video to that effect, so you know there must be something to it. Rest assured, Tsarnaev sympathizers will try to spin this away as a grieving mother being unable to face painful truths about her sons, but I’d be more sympathetic to that explanation if I hadn’t read stuff like this:

The mother of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev knew as early as 2011 that her son had been radicalized and sent text messages to family in Russia suggesting he was willing to die for Islam, the FBI told lawmakers this week according to two officials with knowledge of the Capitol Hill briefing.

That’ll be spun away too as evidence only that Tamerlan was willing to go to Chechnya and fight the Russians, not that he was willing to blow up eight-year-olds here, but that’s goofy. Just this morning, the BBC reported that European intelligence is biting its fingernails over hundreds of native-born Muslims heading off to Syria to fight. What they learn there, ideologically and technologically, comes back home with them. If I had to bet, I’d bet that it was mama Tsarnaev’s texts that were intercepted by Russian intel and that spurred them to contact the FBI initially about Tamerlan in 2011. Why the feds didn’t take that more seriously, I still don’t understand. Neither do members of Congress.

Watch the second clip below too of the mother blaming “America” for taking her sons from her. America took them in, gave them an education, gave them welfare, gave her youngest son scholarship money, and yet here we are. “Why did they kill him? Why did they have to kill him? They got him alive. He was in their hands,” she said at her press conference. As a rebuttal to that, I’ll leave you with this:

Mike Doucette, 27, a chimney sweep who lives on the street, described seeing one brother shot and fall to the ground. He was still moving when the other brother went “screaming up the street” in the S.U.V.

“I yelled to the cops, ‘Watch out!’ ” Mr. Doucette said in an interview. But the car hit the wounded brother, he said, and “his body was tumbling underneath.”

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