WASHINGTON — The alleged Boston Marathon bombers had six more bombs in their car and were on their way to New York City’s Times Square when they were stopped by police in a shootout in Watertown, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said today, lauding the efforts of local law enforcement in the confrontation.
“Our nation could have been further terrorized. ... New York City could have been hit again,” said Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, as the committee opened a hearing on the response to last year’s bombings.
McCaul asked Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau, and Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese and several other Watertown officers who were involved in the shootout to stand up and be recognized. Former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who also testified, was praised by several lawmakers for his leadership during the crisis.
The hearing, entitled “The Boston Marathon Bombings, One Year On: A Look Back to Look Forward,” focused on the response by law enforcement after the bombings. The hearing also focused on the committee’s recently released report on the response to the bombings that was critical of federal intelligence agencies for missed opportunities to scrutinize the activities of one of the alleged bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in the months before the bombings.
McCaul said the committee in its investigation had found that several “flags and warnings” had been missed and “systemic problems” had led to Tsarnaev falling off “our radar.”
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