2017 New York City attempted bombing

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Part of Terrorism in the United States and the reaction to United States recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel[1]
Times Sq passage vc.jpg
The passageway near where the bomb detonated, pictured in 2014
LocationTimes Square–42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station, New York City, United States
Coordinates40°45′23″N 73°59′23″W / 40.75634°N 73.98983°W / 40.75634; -73.98983Coordinates: 40°45′23″N 73°59′23″W / 40.75634°N 73.98983°W / 40.75634; -73.98983
DateDecember 11, 2017 (2017-12-11)
Attack type
Attempted suicide bombing with (incompletely detonated) pipe bomb
Deaths0
Non-fatal injuries
4 (including the perpetrator)
PerpetratorAkayed Ullah

On December 11, 2017, a pipe bomb partially detonated in the subway station adjoining the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, injuring four people including the suspect. Mayor Bill de Blasio described the incident as "an attempted terrorist attack".[2] The suspected bomber was identified by police as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, a Salafi Muslim immigrant from Bangladesh.[3]

Events[edit]

At approximately 7:20 a.m., during morning rush hour, a pipe bomb partially detonated in the New York City Subway's Times Square–42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal station, within the underground passageway between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. The suspected bomber was taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment.[4][5] There were four non-life-threatening injuries.[6] According to the city's fire department commissioner, the suspect suffered burns to his hands and torso while three bystanders had "ringing ears and headaches".[7][8] The bombing severely disrupted subway service for several hours, leading to a slight decline in ridership.[9]

Perpetrator[edit]

After the incident, the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) arrested a "would-be suicide bomber" armed with a pipe bomb (which was filled with sugar and Christmas tree lights[10]) and a battery pack. The suspect was identified as 27-year-old Brooklyn resident Akayed Ullah.[11][2]

One year after he arrived in the US, his father died. He subsequently converted to Salafism and pressured his family to pray regularly and adopt conservative religious beliefs.[3] Ullah's wife and child live in Bangladesh,[12] where he kept books by Muhammad Jasimuddin Rahmani, the spiritual leader of extremist group Ansarullah Bangla Team which is linked to the terror group al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent.[13][12] Ullah wrote handwritten notes on his passport, including “O AMERICA, DIE IN YOUR RAGE.” [14] He was a licensed cab driver from March 2012 to March 2015. He had posted a warning on Facebook, "Trump you failed to protect your nation", before the attack.[15][16][17] Prosecutors allege he told police after the blast "I did it for the Islamic State."[14]

After being questioned, Ullah reportedly said he was "following ISIS on the internet and reading Inspire magazine".[18] Through online instructions, he learned how to make the explosive device.[17] A law enforcement source told CNN that Ullah said he carried out the attack in response to recent Israeli actions in Gaza over Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.[1][19][20]

The Associated Press, however, reported law enforcement sources told them he was retaliating against U.S. military aggression.[21] Authorities believed he also sought reprisal for American air attacks on Muslims in Syria and elsewhere.[17][22][23] According to statements by law enforcement officials, reported in The New York Times, he chose the Times Square area because of its Christmas-themed advertising.[24] During court proceedings, Ullah denied being an ISIS sympathizer, saying he "was angry with Donald Trump because he said he will bomb the Middle East and protect his nation."[25]

Ullah had at times frequented the Masjid Nur Al Islam, a mosque in Kensington, Brooklyn, which was placed on the NYPD Intelligence Division's "Mosques of Interest" list in 2004. Four members of the mosque are also on the NYPD's "Most Dangerous" list.[26]

Visa status[edit]

Ullah is a permanent U.S. resident.[27] His uncle won a diversity visa lottery which enabled him to bring Ullah to the United States under the family reunification provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.[28][29][30]

Legal proceedings[edit]

Ullah was charged with possessing a criminal weapon, making terroristic threats and supporting an act of terrorism.[31] In early November 2018, he was found guilty on all counts.[25] He will be sentenced on April 5, 2019 and faces life imprisonment.[32]

Reaction[edit]

President Donald Trump said, "There have now been two terrorist attacks in New York City in recent weeks carried out by foreign nationals here on green cards. The first attacker came through the visa lottery, the second came through chain migration. We’re going to end both of them."[14][33][34] He called for the end of the Diversity Immigrant Visa and chain migration after this attack, and had made a similar statement following the October 31, 2017, truck attack in Lower Manhattan.[35]

The Bangladeshi consulate in New York City condemned the attack and reiterated the Bangladeshi government policy of zero tolerance against terrorism.[36] Bangladeshi-Americans in New York City denounced the attack, as well as President Trump's suggestion to end chain migration.[37] Bangladesh's Counterterrorism Police stated that they did not find a link between Ullah and domestic terrorist groups in Bangladesh. The counterterrorism police also said that they had placed his family members under surveillance after the attack.[38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sanchez, Ray; Sterling, Joe (December 12, 2017). "Akayed Ullah: What we know about the Manhattan explosion suspect". CNN. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Chappell, Bill (December 11, 2017). "1 Suspect In Custody After Explosion At Subway Station In Midtown Manhattan". NPR. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Akayed started changing after his father's death in US - Dhaka Tribune". www.dhakatribune.com.
  4. ^ Celona, Larry (December 11, 2017). "Suspected bomber in custody after explosion at Port Authority". New York Post. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  5. ^ Rashbaum, William (December 11, 2017). "Pipe Bomb Explodes in New York Subway Walkway". New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  6. ^ "Four Injured, Including Attacker in NYC Subway Bombing". msn.com.
  7. ^ "Manhattan subway explosion 'was attempted terrorist attack', says mayor". The Guardian. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  8. ^ "Bangladesh: Accused NYC attacker followed radical preacher". Washington Post. AP. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  9. ^ "Transit and Bus Committee Meeting February 2018" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 20, 2018. p. 24. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  10. ^ Port Authority bomb was made of Christmas lights, sugar and a battery: cops, New York Post, December 11, 2017
  11. ^ Wagner, Meg; Wills, Amanda (December 11, 2017). "New York City explosion: Live updates". CNN. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Bangladesh police say NY bomber read extremist's books".
  13. ^ "'New York bomber read extremist's books, urged wife to do so' - Times of India".
  14. ^ a b c "U.S. slaps terror charges on accused Times Square bomber". December 13, 2017 – via Reuters.
  15. ^ "New York bombing suspect Akayed Ullah warned Trump on Facebook". BBC News. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  16. ^ "Suspect's family claims that they don't know he was being radicalized". CNN. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  17. ^ a b c Tom Winter, Jonathan Dienst and Tracy Connor (December 11, 2017). "NYC blast suspect Akayed Ullah aimed to avenge Muslim deaths, source says". NBC News. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  18. ^ Reuven Blau (December 11, 2017). "Suspect in Port Authority bombing carried out bungled attack in name of ISIS". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  19. ^ "New York City Bomber Tells Police He Carried Out Attack Due to Israeli Actions in Gaza, Report Says". Haaretz. AP. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  20. ^ McLaughlin, Eliott (December 11, 2017). "New York explosion: Man detonates pipe bomb in 'attempted terrorist attack,' officials say". CNN. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  21. ^ "The Latest: Suspect's family heartbroken, saddened by attack". AP News. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  22. ^ Shawn Cohen; Max Jaeger; Reuven Fenton; Natalie Musumeci. "Suicide bombing suspect was a cab driver bent on revenge: cops". NY Post. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  23. ^ Molly Olmstead. "NYC Bombing Suspect Charged with Supporting Act of Terrorism". Slate. Retrieved December 12, 2017. Authorities have also revealed Ullah said he was angry over U.S. bombings in ISIS territory and detonated the bomb to avenge Muslims killed around the world
  24. ^ Nir, Sarah Maslin (December 11, 2017). "New York Bomber Was Inspired by ISIS Christmas Attacks, Officials Say". New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  25. ^ a b Brown, Stephen Rex (November 6, 2018). "Port Authority Bus Terminal bomber Akayed Ullah found guilty, says he did it because he was 'angry' at Trump". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  26. ^ Feuer, Alan (December 12, 2017). "For Bombing Suspect, a Life Split Between Bangladesh and Brooklyn". New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  27. ^ Reilly, Katie. "What We Know About the New York Bomb Attack Suspect". Time. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  28. ^ Robbins, Liz (December 12, 2017). "Terror Suspects Become Ammunition in War Over Immigration". New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  29. ^ Hurt, Charles (December 12, 2017). "The Bangladeshi would-be bomber — a walking ad for Trump's immigration policies". Washington Times. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  30. ^ "Official: Akayed Ullah came to US on a visa sponsored by his uncle". Dhaka Tribune.
  31. ^ Olmstead, Molly. "NYC Bombing Suspect Charged With Supporting Act of Terrorism". slate.com.
  32. ^ Weiser, Benjamin (November 6, 2018). "Akayed Ullah Guilty of ISIS-Inspired Bombing Near Times Square". New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  33. ^ "After NYC subway bombing, Trump slams 'chain migration'". The Times of India. December 12, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  34. ^ R. Darren Price. "President Trump on Port Authority Bombing: 'End Chain Migration'". WNBC - NBC 4 NYC. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  35. ^ "Trump renews calls to end visa lottery, chain migration after New York attack". The Economic Times. December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.]
  36. ^ "Bangladesh strongly condemns New York blast". The Daily Star. December 12, 2017. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  37. ^ "Bangladeshis worry they'll pay price for NYC subway bomb". ABC News. Associated Press. December 16, 2017. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  38. ^ "Accused NY bomber's family says attack 'our worst nightmare'". The Daily Star. December 14, 2017. Retrieved December 16, 2017.