The NYPD said the suspect, Akayed Ullah, was inspired by ISIS but did not appear to have direct contact with group. “Thank God, (he) did not achieve his ultimate goals,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a morning press conference.
A man with a crude pipe bomb strapped to his body set off the device in a subway near Times Square on Monday, injuring the suspect and three other people at the height of the morning rush hour, the Associated Press reports. The man and three others were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries in what the mayor and police labeled an attempted terror attack.
The suspect was identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah. Law enforcement officials said he was inspired by the Islamic State group but had apparently not had any direct contact with the group.
A law enforcement official told CNN that the suspect, who lives in Brooklyn, apparently made the bomb at his workplace.
The explosion happened in an underground passageway under 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. The 7:30 a.m. blast caused smoke to fill the passageway, which was crowded with throngs of Monday morning commuters.
In a press conference Monday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill labeled it an attempted terror attack.
“Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals,” de Blasio said.
The officials said he lives in Brooklyn and may be of Bangladeshi descent. Authorities said the bomb was a low-tech explosive device attached to the man with Velcro and plastic ties. The explosion triggered a massive emergency response by police and firefighters both above and below ground, tangling subway and bus service at the nearby Port Authority bus terminal.
At the press conference, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo described it as a “low-tech device” and said the incident was “handled extraordinarily well” by police.
“The reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom,” said Cuomo. “We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, and that makes us an international target, and we understand that.
“With the internet now, anyone can go on the internet and download garbage and vileness on how to put together an amateur level explosive device, and that is the reality that we live with.”
“The counter reality is that this is New York, and we all pitch together, and we are a savvy people, and we keep our eyes open—and that’s what ‘see something, say something’ is all about—and we have the best law enforcement on the globe.”
Former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, speaking earlier on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said preliminary information suggests the man “was setting the device off in the name of ISIS, so definitely a terrorist attack, definitely intended.” The man has been in the country for about seven years, Bratton said.
TCR news interns Megan Hadley and Brian Edsall contributed to coverage of this story.