Akayed Ullah: Port Authority blast suspect. What led to a Bangladesh national seeking to set off a suicide terror bomb at NYC’s Times Square area?
Akayed Ullah a 27 year old Bangladesh national, living in Brooklyn, has been identified as the individual who Monday morning sought to set off a suicide terrorist bomb at an underground subway station near NYC’s Times Square, Port Authority Station.
Only the ‘pipe bomb’ failed to go off properly, sparing what could have been a calamity with only Ullah a suspected ISIS terrorist suffering injuries after his devise malfunctioned prematurely.
Reports told fo the explosion happening circa 7.20am in an underground tunnel linking the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Times Square. The underground tunnel is a major thoroughfare for workers during the morning rush hour.
Authorities say Ullah took the A train subway to the Port Authority Bus Terminal stop Monday morning, and started walking east towards Times Square via an underground terminal when a pipe bomb hidden underneath his clothes prematurely exploded.
Law enforcement officials don’t believe the passageway was the intended target since the ‘low-tech’ bomb – attached to Ullah with Velcro and zip ties – did not explode fully. During questioning, Ullah said he learned to make what authorities described a ‘crude device,’ after having gone on the internet.
The suspect was found injured at the scene and rushed to Bellevue Hospital. He was wearing what appears to be a homemade pipe bomb attacked to his body with velcro and zip ties when it went off.
Three other people also reported to local hospitals for minor injuries, including ringing in the ears and headaches.
Ullah was being treated for burns and lacerations at a hospital, authorities said.
NBC News reported the device being made from a pipe, a 9-volt battery, matches and Christmas tree lights. The chemical explosive appears to have ignited but the pipe itself did not burst. Screws were found at the scene, indicating that they may have filled the pipe and were intended to be used as shrapnel.
Cbsnylocal reported Ullah, a Bangladesh national, had been living in Brooklyn, having arrived in the United States in February of 2011. The man, reported the outlet had a visa.
Of note, The New York City Taxi & Limousine commission said on Monday that they had a former license under Ullah’s name. His license has been lapsed since it expired in 2015. The suspect had been a licensed cab driver from March 2012 to March 2015.
Soon after the explosion, police descended on at least three Brooklyn addresses connected to Ullah or his relatives — two in the Kensington section and one in Old Mill Basin, nbcnews reported.
A former Mill Basin neighborhood said the suspect lived there with his parents and two older brothers. She said she would see him leaving the house with camera equipment and assumed he was on his way to work.
‘The family is very friendly, very nice, but he was quiet. Never talked to anyone, stayed to himself,’ the neighbor said.
— Magdalena Doris (@MagdalenaDoris) December 11, 2017
UPDATE: Name of unsuccessful suicide bomber is 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, originally from Bangladesh, he is seriously injured, Device used in the explosion was based on a pipe bomb, affixed to suspect’s body using combination of zip ties and velcro, NYPD … pic.twitter.com/b95ZitoZgN
— BREAKING NEWS (@NewsAlertHQ) December 11, 2017
The Port Authority ISIS-inspired ISLAMIC TERRORIST’s name is Akayed Ullah, 27, lived in Brooklyn, and came to the United States under, you guessed it, the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION! #nycbombing pic.twitter.com/35Ufwc6wqz
— Boston??Bobblehead (@DBloom451) December 11, 2017
Akayed Ullah suicide bomber: Was setting off device in name of ISIS said authorities.
Following his arrest, Ullah told investigators having carried out the attack in revenge for his people.
‘They’ve been bombing in my country and I wanted to do damage here,’ told the man.
Ullah added that he made the bomb at the electrical company where he works.
It wasn’t clear what violence Ullah was referring to, since Bangladesh is one of the U.S.’s largest allies in southeast Asia. However, it is home to many Rohingya Muslims, refugees from Myanmar. Violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar has intensified in recent months.
Further questioning revealed the suspect expressing grief after last week’s decision by President Trump declarating Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Ullah said was inspired to carry out the attack given the recent flare ups between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
During a morning press conference, current NYPD Commission James O’Neill said Monday’s explosion was definitely an attempted terror attack.
‘This was an attempted terror attack and thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals,’ Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The Mayor went on to say it appeared the suspect acted alone.
‘All we know of is one individual who, thank God, was unsuccessful in his aims,’ de Blasio said.
It remained unclear to what degree if any, the suspect had been acting as an ISIS operative and whether he was part of a larger terror plot or a lone wolf inspired by anti US rhetoric?
Law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that Ullah was inspired by the group, but not in direct contact with them.
So far, officials believe that Ullah carried out the attack as a ‘lone wolf’.
Witnesses told of the ensuing terror as it dawned what had happened.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the largest in the country and the busiest in the world – serving about 225,000 commuters a day.
It’s what’s known by law enforcement officials as a ‘soft target’ because it handles a lot of traffic but doesn’t have the same kind of security as a place like an airport.
Told social worker Michael, 35, who’d been commuting from New Jersey to Brooklyn when the chaos unfolded, ‘There were people running from various angles and screaming that someone had a gun. People were saying “just run, just go”. Everyone was looking around confused.
‘After a few minutes I think I heard another person say there was an explosion and that’s when people started to panic. There was a lot of chaotic shouting and screaming. I saw a guy spring past me and as people scattered the crowd began to hurry more and push through the doors.
‘There are escalators that lead outside and steps and people were running up to get outside. We are talking 50 or 60 people. People were running over each other at one point. It became like a domino effect as everyone tried to run through the doors.
‘We got out and I ran across the street to 41st. I could hear sirens going off and people were grabbing their phones and calling home. Everyone was quite panicked and shook up.’
He added: ‘It’s scary. I’m quite on edge now.’
Port Authority bombing attempt follows confluence of international events, including Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Isreal’s capital.
Following the bungled attack, police shut down movement in the Port Authority area as they continued investigating the bombing scene.
While the suspect’s motivation has not been established yet, his alleged statements about ISIS and Bangladeshi background suggest he was motivated by extreme religion.
The attack also comes on the heels of a Muslim day of rage in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, last week where thousands of Muslims protested over President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The decision – which breaks with decades of tradition in international policy – has drawn widespread criticism from Muslims and Christians around the world.
Previous presidents have refrained from such direct involvement in the Middle East’s historic conflict but Trump proudly waded in. Moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a campaign promise which he now boasts about fulfilling.
Monday’s explosion also comes a month after Sayfullo Saipov plowed through cyclists on the a cycle path in Tribeca.
The Uzbek national killed eight people in his rented Home Depot truck by mowing them down before crashing into a school bus. He injured another 12.
Saipov, 29, who was living in Paterson, New Jersey, was gunned down by a police officer and remains in custody.
Welcome to a brave new America…
Exact moment ‘pipe bomb,’ explodes inside New York City’s Port Authority, leaving one person injured; Suspect in custody. pic.twitter.com/AnRcTJDCxu
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) December 11, 2017