The New York City Police Department has confirmed that at approximately 7:30 a.m. Eastern, a low-tech explosive device was detonated in the New York City subway. A short time after the explosion the New York City mayor called the incident an “attempted terrorist attack”.
A peaceful Monday morning in one of the busiest transit hubs in New York City was shattered by an explosion that echoed through the busy transit hub. The explosion caused authorities to evacuate hundreds of commuters, throwing the morning into chaos.
Police have confirmed that the explosion happened near a passageway that connects Times Square and Port Authority Bus Terminal, at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue. Police have also confirmed that one suspect is in custody and he is identified as Akayed Ullah, 27, from Brooklyn “an immigrant from Bangladesh”. Authorities have stated that the suspect was injured during the explosion and is listed in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital Center. Four other people were injured during the incident. Their identities have not been released, but authorities describe their injuries as minor injuries. Injuries are described as ringing in the ears and headaches, and were likely caused by being in close proximity to the explosion.
A city official that declined to be identified due to the going investigation said that Akayed Ullah was wearing some kind of explosive vest when he was found by police. Police officers had to strip him to remove the device from his body. The official further stated that Ullah sustained burns and lacerations to his hands and abdomen.
City officials have stated that subway stations were evacuated after the explosion, the Port Authority Bus Terminal was also shut down immediately after the explosion.
City officials have released a statement saying that Ullah was alone when the explosion
occurred and that they believe that the explosive device might have detonated prematurely. Officials have also confirmed that the explosion was recorded on a surveillance video.
A short time after the explosion, Mayor Bill de Blasio held a news conference. During the news conference the Mayor stated that “When we hear of an attack in the subways, it’s incredibly unsettling”, he also added “And let’s also be clear, this was an attempted terrorist attack. Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals.”
“Our lives revolve around the subway,” he further stated. “The choice of New York is always for a reason, because we are beacons of the world. And we show that a society of many background and many faiths can work.” He further stated, “The terrorists want to undermine that,” he added. “They yearn to attack New York City.”
NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism and Intelligence John Miller, stated during a news conference that the pipe bomb was “affixed to his person with a combination of Velcro and zip ties.”
Investigators are processing the crime scene and still trying to determine what was inside the device. It is still unknown if Ullah acted alone or if he had any help.
In a new release New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D), who described the bomb as “an effectively low-tech device”. He also stated that he was grateful that the victims sustained only minor injuries.
The motivation for the attack is still unknown. There have been reports of possible ties to ISIS, but these reports have not been confirmed at this time.