NYC Attack Suspect Was 27-Year-Old Bangladeshi Brooklyn Resident Who Wore Explosive ‘Attached to His Body’

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An explosion Monday morning at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan was, in the words of Police Commissioner James O’Neill, a “terror-related incident.”

Akayed Ullah is shown in a photo from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Akayed Ullah is shown in a photo from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

A homemade pipe bomb detonated in an underground walkway beneath the bus terminal near Times Square. Suspect Akayed Ullah, 27, and five other people were injured.

Here’s the latest on the suspect:

Who is Ullah?

— He lives in Brooklyn and is of Bangladeshi descent, two law enforcement sources said.

— He arrived in the United States on an F43 family immigrant visa in 2011, DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton said, calling him a “lawful permanent resident from Bangladesh who benefited from extended family chain migration.”

— Ullah recently did electrical work close to Port Authority with his brother. That brother lives in the same apartment building as Ullah, according to law enforcement.

— Ullah is in custody and is now at Bellevue Hospital. He is being treated for lacerations and burns to his hands and abdomen.

— Police are asking anyone who may have any information about him or the incident to call a terror hotline at 888-NYC-SAFE.

The device

— The suspect wore an “improvised low-tech explosive device attached to his body. He intentionally detonated that device,” O’Neill said.

— The device was a pipe bomb affixed to his person with a combination of Velcro and zip ties, John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, said.

— Investigators confirm the suspect had at least two devices, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. The device that detonated was a foot-long pipe and contained black powder, a battery, wiring, nails and screws, the source added.

— The suspect made the bomb last week at his apartment in Brooklyn, a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

Possible motive

— Recent Israeli actions in Gaza compelled Ullah to carry out the attack, a law enforcement source said. The suspect was upset, in his words, with the “incursion into Gaza,” the source said, but did not elaborate on what incursion he may have been alluding to. Israel launched airstrikes this weekend against what it said were Hamas targets in Gaza after several rockets were fired out of Gaza toward Israel. This came amid widespread protests over President Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

— In conversations with authorities, Ullah pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Driver-for-hire license

— Ullah held a New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission for-hire vehicle driver’s license from March 2012 through March 2015, NYC TLC Deputy Commissioner for Public Affairs Allan J. Fromberg said in a statement to CNN.

— That license lapsed and was not renewed in March 2015, Fromberg said.

— Ullah was not licensed to drive a NYC yellow taxi, he said.

— “As taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers are independent contractors and not employees, I have no way of knowing whether he drove for any particular base, or whether he simply got the license but didn’t drive at all,” Fromberg said. “That said, since he held an FHV license, if in fact he did drive, we do know that it could not have been a yellow taxi.”


— Alan Butrico owns a residential building next door to the building where he says Ullah and his family live.

— Butrico said Ullah lives in the basement, his sister on the first floor and his brother on the top floor.

— Neighbors told Butrico they had heard fighting and yelling at Ullah’s home during the past two nights.

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