At approximately 7:20 am this morning, an attempted terrorist attack was made by 27 year old Akayed Ullah, now in custody.
The suspect, who was one of four people injured in the explosion, had strapped a “low tech explosive device” to his person, according to New York Police commissioner James O’Neill, and detonated it on the New York City subway. The incident took place in a passageway near Times Square, close to 8th Avenue & 42nd Street.
The attempted terror attack took place right under Port Authority, which is the busiest bus terminal in the world.
There were not any life threatening injuries, according to Daniel Nigel, New York Fire commissioner, in a press conference. The suspect suffered burns to his trunk and hands and three others reported headaches and ringing in their ears.
A senior city official, who asked to remain anonymous, due to the continuing investigation verified that the suspect wore the explosive device and that after the explosion, police officers had to strip him to retrieve it. He acted alone.
Subway stations were promptly evacuated and the Port Authority Bus terminal was shut down.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that this was a terrorist attack. He also assured citizens that there were not other known incidents or threats, but the police presence would be increased all the same.
Witnesses reported panic right after the blast, but that all was calm just a few minutes later. 5 lanes of traffic were closed to motor vehicles, however, bikers and pedestrians were unaffected.
President Donald Trump was notified of the incident, but did not respond immediately.
Andrew Coumo, Governor of New York said “The reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom.” He went on, “Anyone can go on the internet and download garbage and vileness, how to put together an amateur level explosive device, and that is the reality we live with.”
One witness, Danny Nguyen, 24, heard the commotion as he waited to board a bus to Philadelphia. He saw police running and a Mom panicking, trying to get her daughter away from the scene.
Another witness, Tina Grimes, 38, was meant to be on her way back to Boston, but said she’ll make the best of her extra time in New York. “Maybe I’ll go shopping or something” she said, “It’s too cold to walk around.”
Barbara Petro had planned to catch the 9:25 bus to her home is Maryland. She reported visiting for the weekend to “see the art museums and Christmas scenes in the city.” When asked if this would keep her from returning, she replied “No, it can happen in DC, it can happen in Chicago. I’m in a lot of big cities for work. I don’t want people to think these things will put us off from the city.”
Alicia Wlodkowski, 51, was in a restaurant inside Port Authority when she saw everyone running from the blast. “A woman fell”, she said, “and nobody even stopped to help her because it was so crazy. Then it all slowed down. I was standing watching and scared.”
Other people reported being shocked and scared when the attack happened. Seeing people running away from a bomb is frightening, indeed.
Ullah is a Bangladeshi immigrant. He has been living in Brooklyn. He is being treated for his injuries at Bellevue Hospital, and is listed as being in serious condition. When asked if the suspect was associated with ISIS, O’Neill states that he made statements, but no elaboration was made. The Associated Press reports that Ullah was inspired by ISIS. There is a video depicting the attack, according to police.
New Yorkers are resilient, and the city returned to normal within a few minutes. Governor Cuomo said “The counter reality is that this I New York and we all pitch together, and we are a savvy people and we keep our eyes open. And we have the best law enforcement on the globe.”
H/T – Source