Failed Terrorist Attack in New York

Akayed Ullah went into the Times Square subway station on Dec. 11 with a pipe bomb strapped to his chest.

AJ Freithoffer, Managing Editor, Sports Editor

Akayed Ullah strapped a pipe bomb to his chest on Monday morning and headed to the Times Square subway station. The 27 year old built the bomb at his home in Brooklyn after buying all materials but the pipe, which he later acquired at his job site in Manhattan, where he worked as an electrician. Before the attack, many viewed him as an ordinary member of a Bangladeshi enclave in Brooklyn. According to the New York Times, Ullah arrived in the United States in 2011 with a family immigrant visa, living as a legal permanent resident. He is the “nephew of an American citizen and benefited from what the officials called ‘extended family chain migration.’” He would later become involved in Islamic extremism, influenced by the actions of the Islamic State, and attempt to set off a bomb in a public place.

Police believe he was trying to commit suicide by doing this. While going to the Times Square subway station, Ullah posted a statement on his Facebook page ridiculing President Trump. When the bomb was accidentally set off, he was injured but survived due to a malfunction in the bomb. The device was attached to his torso with plastic zip ties, and according to police, he was the only one that was seriously injured in the explosion. Following his arrest, he was charged with five federal counts that included use of weapons of mass destruction, provision of material support to the Islamic state, and bombing a place of public use.

The New York Times states that “[Ullah] not only [caused] chaos among crowds of commuters but also [left] behind a trail of mystery that baffled the ones who knew him.” Residents that live near Ullah heard “sounds of big fighting” coming from his home on Sunday night, but they did not know what the trouble was. After the attack on Monday morning, New York City police officers went to his home and surrounded it in yellow caution tape, searching the inside of the building for extra evidence.

The would-be terrorist has confessed to his actions while being held at the Bellevue Hospital Center. Ullah said that he committed this crime in the name of the Islamic State, aiming to terrorize and kill as many as possible. He obviously sought to injure more people than himself, but his own inabilities caused his plot to fall short in a failed terrorist attack.