A man detonated a pipe bomb strapped to himself in the New York City subway near Times Square on Monday, injuring the suspect and three others at the height of the morning rush hour, law enforcement officials said.
The New York Police Department identified the suspect as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, who is lightly injured and currently in police custody. Ullah, a Brooklyn resident, emigrated from Bangladesh 7 years ago. Officials say he assembled the crude device in his apartment. Investigators are talking to witnesses and his family.
The suspect told police investigators that Israel's actions in Gaza motivated him to carry out the attack, CNN reported.
Update: A total of 4 injuries reported at the scene of an explosion at Port Authority. All injuries are non-life-threatening— FDNY (@FDNY) December 11, 2017
Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that Akayed Ullah was inspired by the Islamic State Group, but apparently had no direct contact with the terrorist group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the suspect or incident.
The Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, said "this was an attempted terror attack" while speaking about the incident in New York City. "Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals," he said.
De Blasio said that there were no other known incidents, and Ullah is believed to have acted alone.
Update regarding explosion at 42nd St and 8th Ave, in subway: One male suspect is in custody. No injuries other than suspect at this time. Avoid the area. Subways bypassing #PortAuthority and Times Square Stations. Info is preliminary. pic.twitter.com/bEAdjq8mYc— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 11, 2017
New York's Port Authority is one of the city's busiest commuter hubs in midtown Manhattan.
“There was a stampede up the stairs to get out,” said Diego Fernandez, one of the commuters at Port Authority. “Everybody was scared and running and shouting.”
The bus terminal was temporarily shut down and a large swath of midtown Manhattan was closed to traffic. Subway train service was returning to normal after earlier disruptions.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been briefed on the explosion.
In November, eight people were killed in New York after a pickup truck plowed down a bike path in lower Manhattan on a Tuesday afternoon. The driver was shot and taken into police custody. Authorities treated the incident as a terror attack. The driver was identified as as 29-year-old Saifullah Saipov from Uzbekistan, who migrated to the U.S. legally in 2010.
In his response, NYC mayor Bill de Blasio called the attack "cowardly," and said that "New Yorkers are strong, resilient, and our spirit will never be broken by those who try to intimidate us."
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