A man with a homemade bomb strapped to his body detonated a homemade pipe bomb at a bustling New York City transit hub on Monday morning, injuring himself and three bystanders in what Mayor Bill DeBlasio called a terror attack.
The explosion went off at 7:20 a.m. in a subway tunnel at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, just a block from Times Square. Commuters fled the scene as the blast echoed out and filled parts of the building with smoke.
Police arrested the suspect, Akayed Ullah, shortly after. Ullah, 27, is an immigrant from Bangladesh who lives in Brooklyn. He was taken to a local hospital with severe injuries, including burns to his body, officials said.
Law enforcement officials said the improvised explosive device was akin to a pipe bomb, which he’d apparently learned to make on the internet.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill did confirm that Ullah made a statement before the device detonated, but when asked if it may have been in support of the Islamic State group (ISIS), he said, “We’re not going to talk about that right now,” nor would he discuss Ullah’s history or if he was known to authorities.
The explosion came just weeks after a Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented truck down a Lower Manhattan bike path on Halloween, killing eight people and injuring a dozen others. Saipov had expressed support for ISIS in that attack.
Monday’s blast brought the city’s subway system to a standstill until late morning, though transit authorities said they expected service to return to normal later that day.