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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 25th, 2013
05:54 PM ET

Congressman doubts suspected marathon bombers acted alone

Rep. Peter King has his doubts the two young men accused of bombing the Boston Marathon last week launched their attack without some help.

“I just find it very hard to believe that two individuals such as this could have obtained the weapons, the explosives, put it all together, arranged this on their own,” the New York Republican said Thursday on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” “I believe that there were other people involved domestically, either as active conspirators or as facilitators who knew what was going on and said nothing and looked the other way.”

And King, who sits on the Select Intelligence and Homeland Security committees, is in a position to know what leads investigators are pursuing: he and other members of Congress were briefed on the investigation Tuesday.

What he heard made him uneasy.

“I just think that the investigation was not as thorough as it should have been,” he said, saying the questioning of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev prior to reading him his Miranda rights left unanswered several important public safety questions.

“We don't know who all was involved. We don't know what the full plot encompassed,” he said. “And we don't know if there are other explosives that are still around. All of that, I think, may have well have been found out if the interrogation had gone forward, instead of being cut so short, so prematurely short.”

But investigators did discover that Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan, who died after a shootout with police at a gas station, planned to escape to New York and bomb Times Square.

"They discussed this while driving around in the Mercedes SUV that they had hijacked after they shot and killed the MIT police officer in Cambridge,” New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters on Thursday, stressing he knows of no current threat. But he said their plan “fell apart” at that gas station, when the car’s driver escaped.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said authorities in the city learned of the plan on Wednesday night – nearly a week after the Tsarnaevs hijacked the car.

King said the city should have been notified “immediately.”

“This may or may not have been spontaneous - for all we know there could be other conspirators out there and the city should have been alerted so it could go into its defensive,” he said.

“I can tell you there's been 16 plots against New York that have been stopped,” he added. “And every analysis I have seen no matter who puts it together, unfortunately, New York and Long Island and northern New Jersey are the number one terrorist targets in the country. ”

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