Suspect in New York pipe bomb attack charged with terror offences

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Akayed Ullah is the suspect in the New York subway attack (AP)

The suspect in Monday’s pipe bomb attack in the heart of Manhattan has been charged with terror offences, New York Police have said.

Akayed Ullah has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, support an act of terrorism and making a terroristic threat.

US federal prosecutors also revealed that Ullah wrote on Facebook: “Trump, you failed to protect your nation”.

Three people were injured in the failed suicide bombing underneath Times Square in Manhattan on Monday morning, while Ullah is reported to have suffered burns and is in a serious condition in hospital.

Ullah told officials that he picked the location at one of the busiest transport hubs in the world because of the festive-based posters, according to the New York Times.

CNN also reported that Ullah blamed Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital for the attack.

The suspect’s family spoke out after he was taken into custody, saying they were heartbroken and deeply saddened by the suffering the attack has caused.

Police stand guard inside the Port Authority Bus Terminal following the Times Square explosion (AP)
Suspect Ullah reportedly targeted the subway because of Christmas posters (AP)
The bomb went off at one of the busiest periods of the day (FDNY/PA)

In a statement, Ullah’s family also said they were outraged by the way it had been handled by law enforcement, which included pulling a teenage relative from class and questioning him without a parent, guardian or attorney present.

The family said they expected more from the justice system in a statement released by Albert Fox Cahn, legal director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in New York.

Ullah was the only person seriously injured in the blast during the Monday morning rush hour that sent commuters scurrying in panic.


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US law enforcement officials earlier said the pipe bomb was ignited with a Christmas light, matches and a nine-volt battery.

The officials said the short pipe was packed with explosive powder, but did not work as intended and the blast was not powerful enough to turn the pipe into deadly shrapnel.

Law enforcement officials said Ullah had looked at Islamic State group propaganda online and told investigators he was retaliating against US military aggression.

Ullah was the only person seriously injured in the blast underneath Times Square (AP)
Officials say Ullah was inspired by Isis propaganda that he viewed online (AP)

The government of Bangladesh also condemned the attack, saying: “Bangladesh is committed to its declared policy of ‘zero tolerance’ against terrorism, and condemns terrorism and violent extremism in all forms or manifestations anywhere in the world, including Monday morning’s incident in New York City.”

Police in Bangladesh said on Tuesday that they were not in a position to comment on the suspect.

President Trump said the blast highlighted the need for an immigration overhaul, adding that the US “must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people” into the country.