A BANGLADESHI MAN has been held by New York police following what appears to have been an attempted rush-hour terror attack on a major transport hub in the US city.
Police assume the suspect was aiming to detonate a bomb he was carrying at in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhatten, the main destination for long distance buses heading for New York, which is the busiest bus terminal in the world. The incident led to panic as those in the area tried to run away and also to the closure of nearby subway stations.
The bomb, thought to be a pipe bomb and described by police as a “low tech explosive device”, was strapped to the suspect’s body. It went off while he was in a pedestrian underpass linking the Times subway station with the bus terminal, which would have been crowded.
The suspect has been named as Akayed Ullah, 27, an unmarried man of Bangladeshi heritage who had been living in Brooklyn for seven years. There are reports that he has burns and lacerations to his torso and that the explosion caused minor injuries to four passers by.
Police are treating the explosion as a terrorist attack, but they believe that the bomber was working alone – having worked out how to build a pipe bomb from information on the internet. They also believe that far more people would have been injured if the bomber had reached its target.
Police have reported that they have spoken to Ullah in hospital and that he has said he attempted the bombing in retaliation for the air raids which the Israeli state has carried out in Gaza since Trump’s recent statements on Jerusalem.
Leading politicians have been lining up to condemn the attack. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that “terrorists won’t win”. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, said, “This is New York. The reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom. We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbour and that makes us an international target.”