‘They’ve been bombing in my country and I wanted to do damage here.’
A Bangladeshi national in his 20s has been taken into custody with serious injuries after a pipe bomb he was carrying malfunctioned and exploded prematurely inside a Midtown Manhattan subway station Monday morning.
It was the second time in two months that New York City was the target of a terrorist attack, and the first on U.S. soil since President Trump last week sparked Muslim outrage around the world by identifying Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The explosion happened around 7:20am, in an underground tunnel linking the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Times Square. The underground tunnel is a major thoroughfare for workers during the morning rush hour.
The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, was walking east towards Times Square when a ‘low-tech’ explosive attached to his body with Velcro and zip ties device partially exploded. Another five-inch metal pipe bomb was found on his person.
Three other people also reported to local hospitals for minor injuries like ringing in the ears and headaches.
Law enforcement sources who spoke to the New York Post says Ullah is speaking to investigators at the hospital, and says he carried out the attack in revenge for his people.
‘They’ve been bombing in my country and I wanted to do damage here,’ Ullah, who has lived in the U.S. for seven years, said, according to the sources. Ullah added that he made the bomb at the electrical company where he works.
It’s unclear what violence Ullah was referring to, since Bangladesh is one of the U.S.’s largest allies in southeast Asia. However, it is home to many Rohingya Muslims, refugees from Myanmar. Violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar has intensified in recent months.
There have been reports that Ullah – a former taxi driver – was inspired by ISIS.