Accused Port Authority Bus Terminal bomber charged with act of terrorism

Accused Port Authority Bus Terminal bomber charged with act of terrorism

NY police said Ullah set off a pipe bomb in an underground corridor of the subway system that connects Times Square to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at rush hour on Monday morning, injuring himself and three others.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who was briefed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, agreed it appeared Ullah acted alone and had no "red flags", meaning no criminal record or terror affiliations.

Bangladesh's government condemned the attack, saying it opposes all forms of terrorism and violent extremism.

The NYPD said Tuesday on Twitter that Akayed Ullah also has been charged with making at terroristic threat and weapon possession.

En route to carrying out the attempted attack, he allegedly posted on Facebook, "Trump you failed to protect your nation", in an apparent reference to the USA president.

Authorities say Ullah intentionally set off the bomb in a long passageway connecting Seventh and Eighth Avenues near Times Square.

A screenshot taken from surveillance footage inside the subway station where an explosion occurred on Monday, December 11, 2017.

The officers struggled with Ullah to prevent him from reaching the cellphone, and "based on their training, realized they were confronted with possibly another device", Egbert said.

Officials place suspect Akayed Ullah, on a stretcher, into the back of an ambulance on Eighth Avenue between 42nd Street and 43rd Street, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, in NY. Relatives and police said Ullah last visited Bangladesh in September to see his wife and newborn son before leaving them behind to return the United States.

Authorities in Bangladesh began to track down his family soon after news of the attack broke and they first found Ullah's cousin, a law enforcement official, Mahiuddin Mahmud, said. Ullah entered the USA on an immigrant visa in 2011 that he was able to obtain through a relative, a naturalized US citizen who had won a visa through the lottery program, Tyler Houlton, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman said on Twitter.

Authorities said he was speaking with investigators from his hospital bed and that he made statements indicating he acted in solidarity with ISIS, although he appears self radicalized with no actual ties to the group. "If they do, we'll comply with the request because we've given highest priority on this issue because we have a zero-tolerance policy against terrorism".

Also in October, an Afghan-born USA citizen was convicted of planting two bombs in New York's Chelsea neighbourhood in 2016, one of which exploded and wounded 30 people.

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"He went out of his residence to offer prayers at a nearby mosque", Ahad told The Associated Press.

The man who allegedly detonated an explosive device in New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal Monday may have taunted Donald Trump in a Facebook post just before the attack.

Investigators are interviewing Ullah's family and going through his social media accounts, phone records and messages, as well as financial records looking for large deposits or withdrawals, King said.

Investigators say Ullah has admitted he wanted to cause carnage with his homemade pipe bomb to avenge US aggression toward the Islamic State group.

The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the blast.

According to the federal complaint, Ullah built the crude explosive devices with a metal pipe, a nine-volt battery, incendiary powder and ironically, a Christmas tree lightbulb.

Counterterrorism Bureau Chief James Waters said on NY1 television that investigators had executed search warrants Monday night and recovered, "additional parts or components" of bombs, "leftover parts, if you will". But this pipe bomb was not packed tightly enough and failed to detonate, only blowing the ends of the pipe. Law enforcement officials said there was no evidence he had any direct contact with the militants.

The attack came less than two months after eight people died near the World Trade Center in a truck attack that, authorities said, was carried out by an Uzbek immigrant who admired the Islamic State group. "The suspect is a lawful permanent resident who benefited from extended family chain migration", the spokesman said.

Rahmani has been linked to another U.S. terror defendant, Quazi Nafis, who is serving a 30-year sentence after being caught in a federal sting operation and pleading guilty to a plot to blow up the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan.

Law enforcement officials said Ullah had been in the USA for seven years and lived in Brooklyn with his mother, sister and two brothers.

An NYPD official Ullah was not known to authorities before the incident. But the attack sent frightened commuters fleeing through a smoky passageway. A plume of white smoke cleared to show the man sprawled on the ground and commuters scattering.

"Thanks to the quick response of these fearless Port Authority Police officers, the suspect was apprehended, there were no serious injuries and the PABT was secured without further incident", Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole said in a statement.

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