An attempted suicide bomber who set off a rush-hour explosion at the nation’s busiest bus terminal is a Bangladeshi national living in Brooklyn who was inspired by ISIS, law enforcement officials said.
The suspect in Monday morning’s blast at Port Authority in midtown Manhattan was identified as Akayed Ullah, 27. Ullah strapped a pipe bomb to his body with Velcro and zip ties, and it detonated in a subway corridor, police said.
Details on a possible motive were unclear, though analysts at the SITE Intelligence Group noted that the pro-ISIS Maqdisi media group suggested a link between the attack and President Trump’s decision last week to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, The Washington Post reported.
What do we know about the suspect?
Ullah lived in Brooklyn after he entered the U.S. in 2011 from Bangladesh on a chain migration visa, Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement.
The DHS said Ullah came to the U.S. on an F43 visa, a preferential visa available for those with family in the U.S. who are citizens.
He was considered a “Lawful Permanent Resident from Bangladesh,” Houlton told Fox News.
Law enforcement officials said Ullah was inspired by ISIS but didn’t appear to have direct contact with the group and likely acted alone.
Ullah was a licensed cab driver from March 2012 to March 2015, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission confirmed to Fox News. His TLC For-Hire Vehicle Driver’s License was not renewed after 2015.
The TLC spokesperson did not confirm “whether he drove for any particular base, or whether he simply got the license but didn’t drive at all.” He did say Ullah was not licensed to drive a yellow taxi.
An Uber spokeswoman confirmed to Fox News that the ride-sharing company has no record of Ullah being “connected to the Uber platform.” Lyft also does not “have any records” that Ullah worked for it, a spokesperson told Fox News.
From police sources: pic.twitter.com/xFNagGmoh6
— Joe Borelli (@JoeBorelliNYC) December 11, 2017
What else do we know about the attack?
The suspect allegedly packed a 5-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack into the right side of his jacket, according to The New York Post. Ullah told police he made the bomb at his work, law enforcement sources told Fox News.
The Post reported that he worked for an electrical company.
The device was an “effectively low-tech device,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. Officials said they are investigating whether the suspect detonated the bomb intentionally or if it went off prematurely.
The explosion occurred just before 7:30 a.m. near 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues, law enforcement officials said. The explosion triggered a massive emergency response by police and fire both above and below ground, tangling subway and bus service at Port Authority.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the explosion was an “attempted terrorist attack.”
“At this point in time,” the only suspect is the one man already in custody, de Blasio said Monday morning, adding that the city is lucky the suspect didn’t achieve his intended goals.
At least four people, not including the suspect, were injured in the explosion, an NYPD spokeswoman confirmed to Fox News Monday afternoon. Three patients have been released from the hospital.