NYC Subway Bombing Suspect Akayed Ullah Taunted Trump On Facebook Before Attack, Feds Say
NEW YORK (CBS News) — An immigrant from Bangladesh arrested on charges ofin an attempted suicide bomb attack has been charged in federal court. Akayed Ullah, 27, was expected to appear before a magistrate judge after a criminal complaint was made public Tuesday.
The signed complaint in Manhattan federal court says Ullah told authorities he “did it for the Islamic State.”
According to the complaint, Ullah posted on his Facebook account on his way to carry out the Monday morning attack: “Trump you failed to protect your nation.” Ullah told authorities he carried out the attack in part because of the U.S. government’s policies in the Middle East.
During a search of his Brooklyn apartment, investigators recovered a passport with the words “O America, die in rage” scrawled in it, the complaint says.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Joon Kim, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, called that phrase “chilling.” He said Ullah entered the busy pedestrian tunnel with a “hateful heart and and evil purpose,” and he vowed that Ullah will face justice.
“That justice will be tough, it will be fair, and it will be swift,” Kim said.
Federal authorities charged Ullah with providing material support to a terrorist organization and using weapons of mass destruction. The blast left Ullah with burns to his body and hands. Several nearby pedestrians suffered minor injuries including hearing trouble and headaches.
Authorities say Ullah set off a bomb in the underground passageway near Times Square and the Port Authority bus terminal. Port Authority police officers arrested him, finding a nine-volt battery in his pants pocket with wires connected to it that ran underneath his jacket, plastic zip ties, fragments of metal pipe, remnants of Christmas tree lights attached to wires, and metal screws, the complaint says.
The device was affixed to his body, said John Miller, the deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism for the NYPD. A federal law enforcement official told CBS News’ Jeff Pegues the device malfunctioned, and that “it did not fully detonate which possibly caused the injury.”
The complaint says Ullah later spoke to authorities from his hospital bed after waiving his Miranda rights, saying he assembled the pipe bomb at a Brooklyn apartment and filled it with metal screws “which he believed would cause maximum damage.”
Miller said it’s getting harder to stop so-called “lone wolf” attacks. He said Ullah wasn’t on the NYPD’s or the FBI’s radar before Monday’s incident.
“I think what we saw yesterday is something that could have been far, far worse,” he said.
It was not immediately clear who would represent Ullah in court.