How carjacking victim of Boston bombers left his iPhone in his Mercedes so police could track them and thwart their plans to drive to New York

  • FBI officials released surveillance video of suspected bombers on April 18
  • Hours later Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hijacked a Mercedes
  • 'Danny,' the car's owner says the men discussed traveling to NYC
  • Officials have confirmed the Tsarnaevs were carrying a pressure cooker device and 5 pipe-bombs to detonate in Times Square
  • Driver managed to escape when the brothers refilled on gas
  • Danny says he left his iPhone in the Mercedes so police could track the car
  • Police intercepted the brothers and a gun battle broke out early on April 19  in Watertown, Mass.
  • Tamerlan, 26, was killed and Dzhokhar, 19, was captured nearly a day later

The driver whose car was hijacked by the Boston bombing suspects has revealed how authorities used the iPhone he left in the stolen car to track the fleeing brothers, thwarting their plans to attack New York City.

Known only as 'Danny,' the 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur whose car was stolen, says he had pulled his car over to the side of the road to text when Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev approached his Mercedes at 11pm on April 18.

After an hour and a half in their company, Danny said this week that he managed to escape but purposely left his smartphone in the car and alerted police of the phone's tracking technology.

Scroll down for video.

Target: Dzhokar Tsarnaev had been in New York months earlier, pictured in November of 2012. The FBI is in touch with a number of the individuals in this photograph

Danny previously said in interviews how the brothers shared with him their plans to go to New York.

He said he heard the brothers openly discussing driving to New York, although he couldn't make out if they were planning another attack or just looking to escape, the Telegraph reported.

On Thursday, officials in New York confirmed the brothers had decided, after the FBI released photos of them on April 18, to drive to Manhattan and detonate more explosives in Times Square.

The plan was confirmed by law enforcement officials who have been interviewing the surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar.

Plan: NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, (left), and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday that the Boston Marathon bombing suspects intended to blow up their remaining explosives in Times Square

Terror: New York officials revealed that the surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar has confirmed in interviews with law enforcement that the brothers intended to attack New York City

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that plan unraveled when they realized a Mercedes sport utility vehicle they had hijacked did not have enough gasoline for the journey. 

'Questioning of Dzhokhar revealed that he and his brother decided spontaneously on Times Square as a target,' Commissioner Kelly told a news conference with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

'They would drive to Times Square that same night.

'That plan, however, fell apart when they realized that the vehicle that they hijacked was low on gas and ordered the driver to stop at a nearby gas station,' Kelly said.

At the time, the men still had six explosive devices, including a pressure-cooker bomb of the type used at the marathon and six pipe bombs, he said.

Deadly: New York officials said the Tsarnaevs had six explosive devices, including a pressure-cooker bomb of the type used at the marathon and six pipe bombs

Chilling: Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now wearing a beige cap, captured on camera using an ATM card hours before a police shoot-out where his brother and accomplice died

Danny has described his harrowing ordeal in the company of the Tsarnaevs.

Hours earlier, the brothers had shot and killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer in Cambridge, authorities said.

The drive said the experience included a bizarre mix of bursts of life-threatening violence and everyday conversation on mundane subjects such as girls, how much payments on his Mercedes ML 350 were, the iPhone5 and whether anyone still listens to CDs, according to the Boston Globe.

To begin with Danny was driving his car with Tamerlan in the passenger seat beside him, while Dzhokhar following behind in a sedan.

Later the brother’s moved all the gear into Danny’s car and Tamerlan drove.

The late-night drive lasted an hour and a half.

At one stage during his ordeal, Danny says a friend called him on his phone and he was told by Tamerlan that he would be killed if he spoke to the person in Chinese.

Fortunately for Danny there was a problem because his car was almost out of gas and then a set of circumstances played out which afforded him an opportunity to escape his captors.

Escape: The two bombing suspects pulled up at the Shell gas station to use a stolen ATM card from their hostage Danny. He managed to escape to the Mobil gas station across the street and call for help (right)

In search of petrol, the brothers stopped at a Shell Station but younger brother Dzhokhar was forced to go inside the Shell Food Mart to pay for petrol.

When older brother Tamerlan put his gun in the door pocket to fiddle with a navigation device, Danny seized his moment to escape.

Officers managed to monitor the vehicle and within hours located the brothers in the Boston suburb of Watertown, Mass.

A ferocious gunbattle ensued, killing the older brother Tamerlan, 26, but 19-year-old Dzhokhar managed to escape.

The entire city of Boston was on lockdown on April 19 while police frantically searched for Dzhokhar.

He was found that Friday evening, hiding under a tarp in a boat in the backyard of a home in Watertown.

On the run: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev enters a gas station in Cambridge, Massachusetts, wearing a gray hoodie and carrying snacks on Thursday evening. He appears to be followed by her brother Tamerlan in a beige cap

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