Police have identified the suspect in an early Monday morning explosion that shook commuters at one of the city’s busiest transit hubs.
Akayed Ullah, 27, is in custody for allegedly detonating a “low-tech” pipe bomb at around 7:20 a.m. near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, James O’Neill, NYPD police commissioner, said at a press briefing held just after 9:30 a.m.
The device went off “in a below ground walkway, IND line and 42nd St. & Eighth Ave., [which] connects the Port Authority bus terminal to the NYC IRT 42nd and Seventh Avenue Shuttle at Times Square,” O’Neill noted.
Three people had minor injuries, Dan Nigro, FDNY commissioner, said, with the suspect, Ullah, sustaining serious injuries and taken to Bellevue Hospital. When Ullah allegedly detonated the device, it caused burns to his hands and abdomen, Nigro said.
O’Neill said the device was strapped to Ullah’s body with Velcro and zip ties, and in transit video, he is seen walking down a corridor, O’Neill also noted. The suspect did make statements concerning ISIS, but O’Neill would not elaborate about ties to the group or motivation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio called it an “attempted terrorist attack.”
“Let’s be clear, as New Yorkers, our lives revolve around the subways,” he said. “When we hear of an attack on the subway, it’s incredibly unsettling.”
Ullah, originally from Bangladesh, has lived here for seven years, and resided in Midwood, Brooklyn, according to PIX11.com. Authorities were searching his home, The New York Times reported.
Commuters fled after the device detonated, The Times reported. The MTA responded quickly, and “immediately shut down” the A, C, and E lines, Joe Lhota, the MTA chairman, said. The 1, 2, 3, N, Q, R, W, and 7 trains were skipping Times Square-42nd St. in both directions, but now have resumed making the station stop with delays. The A, C, and E are still bypassing 42nd St.-Port Authority Bus Terminal. At the time of the press briefing, Lhota said all trains should be back to normal by evening rush hour.
De Blasio said there would be an expanded NYPD presence today and police are working to secure all major transit hubs.
“This is most resilient place on Earth, we’ve proven it time and time again,” de Blasio said. “We’ve proved it just over a month ago. We proved it on 9/11. We are going to prove it again today. The terrorists will not win, we are going keep being New Yorkers.”
John Mudd, president of the Midtown South Community Council, has lived at W. 38th St. and Eighth Ave. for more than 30 years.
“It certainly shakes everyone up,” Mudd said by phone. “I’m walking down the street and I’m getting all choked up.”
This attack comes on the heel of a terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan on Oct. 31 that left eight killed and 11 injured.
Information about the suspect or today’s incident should be shared via the terror hotline: 888-NYC-SAFE.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
©2017 Community News Group
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