New facts have emerged about yesterday’s suspect in the bombing of a busy New York bus terminal.
The suspect has been identified as Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi national living in the United States. According to Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton, Mr. Ullah came to the US in 2001 on an F45 family immigrant visa. He’s been living in Brooklyn in the same apartment building as his brother for the past several years.
While investigators have been able to confirm this was definitely an attempted terrorist attack, Ullah has no direct contact or connection with ISIS.
Five people were injured in yesterday’s bombing in a tunnel leading to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York on Monday. They were all treated in hospital with minor complaints such as headaches and ringing in the ears.
Ullah himself was taken to Bellevue Hospital after suffering “serious” injuries when his improvised explosive vest detonated, causing lacerations and burns to his hands and abdomen.
Prior to the attack Monday morning, Ullah posted on his Facebook page: "Trump you failed to protect your nation.” He now faces several terrorism-related charges, with five charges at the federal level and three at the statement level.
Investigators determined that Ullah’s radicalization began three years ago with frequent visits to ISIS related websites. One year ago, Ullah began to research how to build improvised explosive devices, and he began collecting and assembling components over the past three weeks. The bomb, best characterized as a pipe-bomb, was made of a battery, wires, metal screws, and a Christmas tree light bulb.
It’s uncertain at this time whether or not the bomb’s miraculously poor detonation was due to a lack of explosive or merely shoddy workmanship.
Ullah’s family, who also live in the same Brooklyn apartment, have been uncooperative with police thus far. However, investigators have been able to recover Ullah’s passport with contains the message, "O America, die in your rage."
Speaking to police in hospital, Ullah has mentioned USA's recent recognition of Jerusalem as part of his motivation for the attack but also listed pro-ISIS propaganda as a motivation. An email began circulating several weeks ago which features Santa Clause in Times Square with TNT in the foreground.