Originally published: 2017-12-12 04:07:46
Posted by Reuters in the Dhaka Tribune
The man has been identified as Akayed Ullah, 27, who was wearing an improvised explosive device
A Bangladeshi man with a homemade bomb strapped to his body set off an explosion at a New York commuter hub during rush hour on Monday, wounding himself and three others in what New York
Mayor Bill de Blasio called an attempted terrorist attack.
The suspect in the incident at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, a block from Times Square, was identified as Akayed Ullah, the New York Police Department commissioner said.
The suspect had burns and lacerations while three other people, including a police officer, sustained minor injuries.
The bomber is in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York.
Akayed Ullah is from Chittagong and is a US resident, said Bangladesh’ Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque.
He had no criminal record there and last visited Bangladesh on September 8, Shahidul Hoque said.
According to witnesses, the man partially detonated the device, which he was carrying under the right side of his jacket, prematurely inside the station.
US President Donald Trump was briefed on the explosion, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote on Twitter.
Ullah had a black cab/limousine driver’s license from 2012 to 2015, after which it expired, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission said.
The weapon was based on a pipe bomb and fixed to the suspect with zip ties and velcro, police said. New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaking at a news conference near the site, described the device as “amateur-level.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told the same news conference that the incident, which happened at the start of the city’s rush hour, was “an attempted terrorist attack.”
“As New Yorkers our lives revolve around the subways. When we hear of an attack in the subways, it is incredibly unsettling,” de Blasio said.
New York City was a target, said John Miller, deputy police commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism.
Miller cited the attacks of September 11, 2001, that killed more than 2,750 people in New York and nearly 3,000 people total; and the World Trade Center bombing of February 26, 1993, which killed six people.
“In the course of the post-9/11 world, as you are aware, there’s also been approximately 26 plots that we can talk about that have been prevented through intelligence, investigation and intervention.”
The incident was captured on security video, police said. Video posted on nypost.com showed smoke and a man lying in the tunnel that connects sections of the Times Square subway station and the bus station. A photograph showed a man lying facedown, with tattered clothes and burns on his torso.
The bus terminal was temporarily shut down and a large swath of midtown Manhattan was closed to traffic. Subway train service returned to normal after earlier disruptions.
WABC reported the suspect was in his 20s and that he has been in the United States for seven years and has an address in New York’s Brooklyn borough. Police shut down the entire block and there was a heavy police presence outside the home.
Bangladesh condemns attack
The Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC has reiterated the government’s “zero tolerance” policy against terrorism after the media reported the suspect in the New York explosion is a Bangladeshi.
“A terrorist is a terrorist irrespective of his or her ethnicity or religion, and must be brought to justice,” reads a statement released by the embassy.
“Government of Bangladesh is committed to its declared policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against terrorism, and condemns terrorism and violent extremism in all forms or manifestations anywhere in the world, including Monday morning’s incident in New York City.”
New York in December sees a surge of visitors who come to see elaborate store displays, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and Broadway shows.
More than 200,000 people use the Times Square station, the city’s busiest, each weekday, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The incident rippled through American financial markets, briefly weakening equity markets as they were starting trading for the week and giving a modest lift to safe-haven assets such as US Treasuries. S&P 500 index emini futures dipped in the moments after the initial reports of an explosion, but major stock indexes later opened slightly higher.
The incident occurred less than two months after an Uzbek immigrant killed eight people by speeding a rental truck down a New York City bike path, in an attack for which Islamic State claimed responsibility.