The man suspected of carrying out an explosion at New York City’s main bus terminal on Monday is a Bangladeshi immigrant. The suspect and three others were injured in the attack. In what the city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio called an “attempted terrorist attack”, 27-year-old Akayed Ullah was the only one seriously hurt as his pipe bomb failed to fully detonate.
Investigators believe it was intended to be a suicide bombing, Reuters reported. One of the injured is a police officer, but all injuries other than Ullah’s are minor.
The weapon used was “amateur-level”, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
President Donald Trump reiterated that the United States “must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country”. He criticised the visa programme that allowed Ullah to enter the US in 2011 because he had family members already there.
The explosion occurred at around 7.30 am local time on Monday (6 pm Indian Standard Time) in a busy underground passageway between the subway station underneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Times Square subway station. Port Authority is the biggest and busiest bus terminal in the world.
Nearby subway stations were evacuated, and the Port Authority terminal was temporarily shut, BBC reported.
Asked about possible connections with the Islamic State, New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said, “He [Ullah] did make statements but we are not going to talk about that right now.” O’Neill said Ullah had no criminal record in Bangladesh, where he last visited in September 8.
A law enforcement official told Reuters that investigators found evidence that Ullah watched Islamic State propaganda on the internet, though this has not been officially confirmed. Ullah reportedly told investigators that the act was in retaliation for United States’ airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and elsewhere, according to The New York Times.
The New York Police Department said it had recovered a “dangerous sword/machete” from the suspect.