Five people were released from hospital with mild injuries yesterday after a “lone wolf” attempted suicide bomber set off a blast in the pedestrian tunnel under the Port Authority bus terminal in New York City Monday morning at around 7:20. The 27-year-old suspect, Akayed Ullah, is currently recovering from more serious injuries in the hospital and is charged on several federal and state terrorism-related counts.
Ullah was found to have two homemade explosives attached to his person with velcro and zip ties. The one he detonated was a foot-long pipe bomb but it did not go off as intended — the contents of the pipe ignited but the casing itself did not explode — which may have spared many lives. After the blast, four police officers noticed the wiring on Ullah and tackled him, preventing him from using a cell phone or setting off the second explosive.
— PAPD (@PAPD911) December 12, 2017
Ullah told police his attack was “for the Islamic State,” and New York authorities report he was working alone. The suspect moved from Bangladesh to the United States in 2011 and lived with members of his family in a Brooklyn basement apartment. His radicalization reportedly started in 2014 and he posted on Facebook before the attack saying, “Trump, you failed to protect your nation.” Ullah claims the attack was in response to Israeli actions in Gaza.
The White House’s response was to double down on Donald Trump’s travel ban — which doesn’t include Bangladesh — and the tighter immigration process the government is reportedly working on. In his new immigration overhaul, Trump is seeking to eliminate the immigration lottery and “chain migration” which allows families to stay together when some members take up residency in another country.
.@PressSec on NYC terror attack: “The president’s policy has called for an end to chain migration. And if that had been in place, that would have prevented this individual from coming to the United States.” pic.twitter.com/qCqSqeiIcz
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) December 11, 2017
JUST IN: Pres. Trump statement on NYC attack: “Today’s attempted mass murder attack in New York City—the second terror attack in New York in the last two months—once again highlights the urgent need for Congress to enact legislative reforms to protect the American people.” pic.twitter.com/WyvrrDk2d9
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 11, 2017
New York officials did not focus on immigration, but praised the city’s law enforcement and New Yorkers in general for their resilience despite being “an international target for many who would like to make a statement against democracy [and] freedom.”
“This is New York. The reality is that we are a target” – Andrew Cuomo speaks following the New York City “terror related incident” pic.twitter.com/YoTUobTcdq
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 11, 2017