A terrorist who was inspired by ISIS blew up a pipe bomb in New York City on Monday but ended up only seriously injuring himself in the blast.
The suspected terrorist, 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, entered the subway with the bomb strapped to himself with Velcro and zip ties. He headed toward the passenger walkway that’s between the Port Authority and Times Square stations and detonated the bomb at around 7:20 a.m. EST. However, the bomb didn’t detonate properly and Ullah ended up injuring his hands and abdomen. He is being treated at Bellevue Hospital.
Five additional people suffered injuries from the explosion, although they are not believed to be serious. The bombing did cause chaos in the subway as people screamed and feld from the station in panic.
Ullah admitted to investigators that he detonated the bomb in response to the United States’ airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and the Israeli airstrikes against Hamas in Gaza. Ullah said he chose the subway to launch the attack because of all the Christmas posters adorning the station. He claimed to have acted on his own.
Ullah is an immigrant from Bangladesh; he entered the country in 2011 on an F43 visa that allows children of American citizens to become permanent residents. He had a license to operate as a taxi driver for three years but it’s unclear how much he operated as a driver, if at all.
The night before Ullah’s failed attack, there was “a big blow-up” between him and his family, which involved “a lot of screaming and yelling,” according to the neighbors of the Ullahs.
People who have encountered Ullah described him as being rather unfriendly. Kat Mara, who had observed Ullah getting coffee from her work office, told the New York Post “he looked weird and “always angry.”
“He always seemed like he had something on his mind,” said Mara.
Alan Butrico, who owns a neighboring building next to the Ullah home, told CNN, “He wasn’t friendly at all. The family was very quiet themselves. They don’t talk to nobody. They just stay there.”
Neighbor Hasan Alam told the Post that he was “shocked because you know he was a religious person and not very outgoing.”
“I’m kind of scared for my family because we’re Muslims as well,” said Alam. “It gives a bad impression of our religion. We’re all very friendly people.”