New York bombing suspect on Facebook: 'Trump you failed'

The man accused of blowing up a homemade explosive in a pedestrian subway tunnel in the heart of New York City posted...

Posted: Dec 12, 2017 11:32 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2017 11:32 PM

The man accused of blowing up a homemade explosive in a pedestrian subway tunnel in the heart of New York City posted on Facebook earlier in the day, saying, "Trump you failed to protect your nation," according to a criminal complaint.

Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi man, faces a number of federal and state terrorism charges after he allegedly detonated a device made of a battery, wires, metal screws and a Christmas tree lightbulb during the busy morning commute on Monday.

Five people were treated for minor injuries at area hospitals, while the suspect was said to be seriously injured.

In an interview with investigators, Ullah admitted that he built and detonated the device and said he was inspired to do so by ISIS.

"I did it for the Islamic State," Ullah told investigators, according to the federal complaint.

He faces five federal terrorism-related charges and three state terrorism-related charges, according to court documents.

Here's what we know so far about the explosion and attack:

The location

The blast detonated around 7:20 a.m. in an underground walkway connecting two subway lines beneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal, near Times Square, which accommodates 220,000 passenger trips a day.

The suspect was first spotted on a security camera as he began to climb the subway station stairs to the 18th Avenue F. train platform in Brooklyn at 6:25 a.m., according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

He then switched to the A train at Jay St./MetroTech stop in Brooklyn before exiting the train at the Port Authority Bus Terminal stop in Manhattan, the same law enforcement official says.

On grainy surveillance footage, commuters are seen walking through a tunnel when a burst of smoke erupts into the hallway, quickly filling it. Commuters flinch and take cover. When the smoke clears, a man can be seen lying on the ground in the hallway.

According to a law enforcement official, through his comments to investigators, Ullah indicated he was prepared to die. The source also said the suspect was wired up with the self-made device during his entire trip on the subway system.

The suspect

The suspect has been named as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi who has been living in the US since 2011 on an F43 family immigrant visa, according to Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton. He is a lawful permanent resident who lives in Brooklyn and has no criminal record in the US, according to a preliminary background check.

He had pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation, and said he acted in response to Israeli actions in Gaza.

Ullah recently carried out electrical work close to the Port Authority along with his brother, who lives in the same apartment building as the suspect, according to law enforcement.

He is currently hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital, where he is being treated for lacerations and burns to his hands and abdomen, New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. He is said to be seriously injured.

Ullah's ISIS radicalization began in 2014, according to the federal complaint. He began researching how to build improvised explosive devices about a year ago, began collecting the necessary items two to three weeks ago, and built the bomb in his home a week ago, the complaint states.

Investigators recovered a passport in his name with a handwritten message: "O America, die in your rage."

Ullah told investigators that he was motivated in part by pro-ISIS Christmas attack propaganda circulated about a month ago online with an image of Santa Claus over Times Square, a law enforcement source told CNN.

Ullah did not pray at a mosque, according to the source, but prayed at his home in Brooklyn. The source also said that several of Ullah's family members are not cooperating with authorities in the investigation at this time.

From March 2012 to March 2015 Ullah held a Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) license, which had not been renewed, TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said. It's unclear "whether he drove for any particular base, or whether he simply got the license but didn't drive at all," Fromberg said.

Ullah has no criminal record in his native Bangladesh, according to Sahely Ferdous, a Bangladesh police spokeswoman. Ferdous said Ullah last traveled to Bangladesh's capital Dhaka -- where he was born and raised -- in September, but police had no information on why he was there. The federal law enforcement source said Ullah's travel overseas was not significant for the planning of this attack.

Police in Bangladesh have been speaking with Ullah's wife in an effort to learn more about "how he was influenced and how he joined these activities," Ferdous said, adding that authorities went to the wife's residence in the capital Dhaka to question her.

Ferdous said Ullah and his wife have a one-year-old child, but she was not sure of the gender and had no information as to whether the wife was living in Dhaka or just visiting.

The bomb

Ullah had at least two devices, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation tells CNN.

Only one detonated -- a foot-long pipe that contained black powder, a battery, wiring, nails and screws. It was attached to Ullah with Velcro and zip ties. Investigators did not elaborate on the second device.

The suspect made the bomb last week at his apartment in Brooklyn, according to an official. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was an amateur, "effectively low-tech device."

The explosive chemical ignited, but the pipe itself did not explode, lessening its impact, Cuomo told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"Fortunately for us, the bomb partially detonated," he said. "He did detonate it, but it did not fully have the effect that he was hoping for."

CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano said the explosion could have been much worse.

"We really dodged a bullet yesterday," he said.

Opinion: Amateur terrorists can kill, too

The victims

Five people were treated for minor injuries in area hospitals.

"Mount Sinai Health System received and treated five patients with minor injuries as a result of the explosion today at Port Authority; four at Mount Sinai West and one at Mount Sinai Queens," a statement from the hospital group said.

"All were in stable condition and were released today. We are working closely with officials in law enforcement in the wake of this event."

The response

Ullah was apprehended by Port Authority police officers shortly after the blast. Four of the officers involved in the apprehension and arrest of the suspect have been named as Sean Gallagher, Drew Preston, John Collins and Anthony Manfredini.

"Today, four courageous Port Authority police officers risked their lives confronting an armed terrorist to protect others from harm," Port Authority Police Benevolent Association President Paul Nunziato said in a statement.

"I am so thankful there was no loss of life and I could not be prouder of our Port Authority police officers, their actions and dedication to their sworn duty."

Bobby Egbert, public information officer for the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, told CNN that Manfredini was the first responding officer and he described a "smoke and debris-filled" scene.

Manfredini was on patrol in the area when he observed panicked people running out of the passageway. He then made a radio transmission, and three other officers immediately responded, Egbert told CNN.

Officers first encountered the suspect lying on the floor in the passageway, Egbert said. Manfredini described the injuries to the suspect as what appeared to be shrapnel-type wounds.

The officers noticed the suspect reach for a cell phone, Egbert said. Because of their training, they knew that a cell phone can often be used as a detonator and treated the object as a secondary device. The officers struggled with the suspect, but were able to separate him from his cell phone, Egbert said.

All subways and trains are running as scheduled, except the passageway where the incident occurred. Some exits and transfers may be blocked so passengers may be affected.

Gov. Cuomo praised the courage of the authorities, first responders and the city's residents.

"I am deeply grateful to the first responders and security personnel who kept people safe after today's attack and brought the suspect into custody," he said.

"Despite this morning's terrible incident, New Yorkers went about their lives unafraid, undeterred and more united than ever before. We will not allow this to disrupt us."

He added that he was directing the World Trade Center spire to be lit in red, white and blue "as a symbol of our essential values of freedom and democracy."

Ullah's family released a statement through the Council on American-Islamic Relations saying they are heartbroken by the attack, but simultaneously "outraged" by the behavior of unspecified law enforcement officials during the investigation.

"Today, we have seen our children, as young as 4 years old, held out in the cold, detained as their parents were questioned," the statement said. "One teenage relative was pulled out of high school classes and interrogated without a lawyer, without his parents. These are not the actions that we expect from our justice system, and we hope to see better in the days and weeks to come."

US President Donald Trump said Monday that an attempted terrorist attack in New York bolsters the need for his preferred immigration policies, which the White House says would have prevented the suspect from entering the country.

Huntsville
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 40°
Florence
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 42°
Fayetteville
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Decatur
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Scottsboro
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 43°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 242874

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31944500
Mobile19687361
Madison13065148
Tuscaloosa12983154
Montgomery12286236
Shelby1020377
Baldwin860398
Lee773566
Morgan653850
Calhoun6240119
Marshall621355
Etowah621066
Houston523038
DeKalb481336
Cullman435442
Limestone420645
St. Clair415855
Elmore404564
Lauderdale400454
Walker3634111
Talladega349054
Jackson313423
Colbert309342
Blount288840
Autauga271642
Franklin251033
Coffee242615
Dale231854
Dallas225932
Chilton221938
Russell22143
Covington218534
Escambia197931
Chambers176550
Tallapoosa175791
Pike158314
Clarke158019
Marion137936
Winston132323
Lawrence127336
Pickens122318
Geneva12138
Marengo121024
Bibb117317
Barbour117110
Butler115341
Randolph102021
Cherokee101524
Hale96131
Clay91124
Washington90919
Fayette89816
Henry8526
Lowndes79529
Monroe78711
Cleburne77114
Macon73122
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69419
Conecuh68414
Perry6846
Lamar6718
Wilcox63218
Sumter57722
Greene42418
Choctaw42113
Coosa3414
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 356716

Reported Deaths: 4526
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby47088658
Davidson42057419
Knox18467149
Rutherford17439160
Hamilton16555152
Williamson1116779
Sumner9573136
Wilson731678
Out of TN721051
Montgomery649683
Sullivan630096
Washington5844106
Maury578367
Putnam578282
Blount540660
Madison5275110
Bradley508435
Sevier476831
Unassigned449222
Robertson371052
Tipton357738
Hamblen340860
Dyer316051
Gibson315064
Greene300672
Dickson284833
Anderson283328
Coffee277641
Bedford270130
Carter266055
Lawrence263934
Obion260449
Cumberland248536
McMinn244555
Roane230929
Warren229419
Loudon224519
Hardeman223237
Jefferson222732
Fayette219138
Weakley212636
Monroe207444
Franklin204434
Lauderdale202523
Trousdale190212
Hawkins189834
Wayne189110
Henderson181533
Macon179228
Hardin174825
Marshall171520
White170918
Carroll169234
Rhea162931
Haywood160830
Cocke159530
Lincoln157914
Cheatham155317
Overton152935
Campbell152723
Henry149317
Giles143949
Johnson141321
Smith140919
McNairy138733
Fentress118920
Lake11656
Hickman116219
Bledsoe11595
Crockett113326
DeKalb111322
Marion107719
Scott10507
Chester101120
Grainger95416
Decatur93713
Unicoi83626
Claiborne8029
Benton78714
Grundy76914
Lewis74714
Cannon7293
Morgan7096
Union7065
Humphreys6948
Jackson67510
Polk65015
Houston58620
Stewart58415
Clay54018
Sequatchie5215
Meigs48313
Perry47721
Moore3893
Pickett38413
Van Buren3482
Hancock1563

Community Events