NYC terror suspect seems to have been prepared to die in attack, source says

The 27-year-old man who allegedly set off an explosive in the New York City subway system this morning seemed to have been prepared to die as a suicide bomber, a law enforcement source said.

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The suspect, Akayed Ullah, 27, told authorities he is self-inspired from ISIS online propaganda, sources said. He said no one directed him to carry out the attack, a law enforcement said, adding that the suspect talked about the plight of Muslims over the years.

Akayed Ullah is pictured in an undated photo released by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Ullah did not specifically say why he chose Times Square but indicated to authorities that ISIS and al-Qaeda propaganda mentioned Times Square as a possible venue for an attack. Ullah said he read al-Qaeda’s online magazine “Inspire” and used instructions from the internet to build the explosive.

Ullah was badly injured in the arm and torso from the explosive device that went off in his arms, sources said, and he has been hospitalized.

Five people were treated for minor injuries and have since been released, officials said. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called it an “attempted terrorist attack.”

Jason Szenes/EPA
Police activity outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal following reports of a confirmed explosion inside an underground tunnel in the building in New York City, Dec. 11, 2017.

Ullah, originally from Bangladesh, entered the United States seven years ago on a family-based visa and has an address in Brooklyn, sources said, adding that he works as an electrician.

From 2012 to 2015, Ullah held a for-hire vehicle license, which allows a driver to operate a black car, livery cab or limousine, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission said. The license lapsed in March 2015 and was not renewed.

Before the device detonated at about 7:20 a.m. in a subway passageway between Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Ullah wore the explosive strapped to him while he took the subway from Brooklyn into Manhattan, a law enforcement source said.

At 6:25 a.m., Ullah boarded the F train at the 18th Avenue station in Borough Park, the law enforcement source said. He then switched to the A at Jay Street and arrived at the 42nd Street/Port Authority station shortly before 7:20 a.m.

Matthew Diebel/USA TODAY
Emergency workers wait with a stretcher…

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