Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Akayed Ullah, New York subway bombing suspect, arrested on terrorism charge

Victims of Port Authority Bombing Describe Bomb Blast Victims of Port Authority Bombing Describe Bomb Blast
Melinda Barton | 16 December, 2017, 23:05

Ullah remains in the hospital following what Mayor de Blasio called an "attempted terror attack" in the corridor connecting the Times Square/42nd Street station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal stop as Monday morning's commute got underway. "As New York City commuters resigned themselves to their Monday morning commute, they became the unwitting victims of one of the final chapters of his story".

Ullah's passport, which was recovered from his home, had handwritten notes, including one that read, "O AMERICA, DIE IN YOUR RAGE".

Preston is an Army veteran who served three tours in Iraq, said Robert Egbert, a spokesman for the Port Authority PBA.

Ullah's attorney hasn't returned a message seeking comment.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said at a news conference Tuesday that Ullah "came to kill, to maim, to destroy", and expected to die in the explosion.

The charging document said law enforcement personnel found a 9-volt battery inside Ullah's trousers pocket, wires connected to the battery running under his jacket and fragments of metal pipe.

The only serious injuries were to the attacker himself but four other people, including a police officer, suffered minor injuries.

The charges he faces include providing material support to terrorists, use of a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use.

Three of the counts carry a maximum sentence of life in prison upon conviction. The governor also said Ullah signaled to police he learned to make the device from online instructions and his motive was he was "angry".

Mannan said Ullah appeared to have no criminal record in Bangladesh and was not a known member of any militant group.

It happened just five weeks after another ISIS-inspired terror attack on Halloween on Manhattan's West Side that left eight people dead and a dozen injured.

In reaction to the bombing, the president demanded a tightening of immigration rules. Ullah entered the USA on an immigrant visa in 2011 that he was able to obtain through a relative, a naturalized US citizen who had won a visa through the lottery program, Tyler Houlton, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman said on Twitter. Authorities have described Ullah as a lone wolf who was inspired by the Islamic State, a common theme in recent attacks, Miller said.

"We're going to end both of them - the lottery system and chain migration". Earlier, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump's proposed policies "could have prevented this".

United States prosecutors has brought federal charges against a Bangladeshi man, accusing him of using a weapon of mass destruction in Monday's bombing of a Manhattan commuter hub.

Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism and Intelligence John Miller said on CBS "This Morning" on Tuesday that Ullah was not on police or the FBI's radar before yesterday morning's bombing. He said Ullah did not appear to have been struggling financially or facing any other particular pressures.

The suspect, identified as Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant, had asked his wife in Bangladesh to read the writings and listen to the sermons of Moulana Jasimuddin Rahmani, the now imprisoned leader of a banned group called Ansarullah Bangla Team, said Monirul Islam, a top official of the counterterrorism department.

Ullah, a US resident since 2011, had come back to Bangladesh to see his family in September, spending most of the time at home with their six-month-old son, Islam said.