Port Authority Suspect Inspired by ISIS: Reports

Akayed Ullah photo

CBS New York Screenshot

New York officials are calling the Port Authority explosion an “attempted terrorist attack,” but was the suspect, Akayed Ullah, tied to ISIS?

Early reports say he was influenced by the Islamic State. Law enforcement sources told the New York Post that the suspect was a suicide bomber who was influenced by ISIS. “An ISIS-inspired suicide bomber set off a homemade explosive device at the Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station Monday morning, law enforcement sources said,” according to The Post. Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC that Ullah was inspired by ISIS.

The scene at the Port Authority.

A New York Times correspondent wrote that the pro-ISIS channels were celebrating the attack.

“This was an attempted terrorist attack… Thank God our first responders were there so quickly,” the mayor said. Asked if Ullah made statements about ISIS, the police commissioner declined to say, but he did say that Ullah made some statements at the scene. In past ISIS fueled terrorist attacks, suspects shouted Allahu Akbar, but there is no indication yet what Ullah said.

The Post identified the man who is possibly of Bangladeshi origin who is 27 and was living in Brooklyn. Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC that preliminary information suggested that Akayed may have been from Bangladesh and has been living in the United States for about seven years.

“NYPD says Ullah has been living in the U.S. for 7 years. He’s a Bangladeshi immigrant, and police say the attack was definitely a terrorist act, inspired by ISIS,” reported TMZ.

The explosion jarred the Port Authority in New York City, which is a busy commuter hub. Akayed, who had been living in Brooklyn and is 27, is already in custody, according to photos that circulated on social media and the NYPD. Reports indicate he may have been a suicide bomber of Bangledeshi origin, with a low-tech device attached to his body, possibly with velcro.

The suspect was identified quickly by New York authorities as Ullah Akayed. Four people were injured, including Akayed, but no one died.

The explosion occurred around 8:20 a.m. on December 11. It comes not long after Sayfullo Saipov is accused of ramming a car into bicyclists in lower Manhattan, killing multiple people. “The NYPD is responding to reports of an explosion of unknown origin at 42nd Street and 8th Ave, #Manhattan. The A, C and E line are being evacuated at this time. Info is preliminary, more when available,” reported The New York Police Department.

The scene at the Port Authority.

Surveillance video showed the moment the possible “suicide bomber” detonated a “pipe bomb” in New York City’s Port Authority terminal Monday morning during rush hour. Akayed “suffered burns and other wounds and is currently in the hospital,” according to CNN.

VideoVideo related to port authority suspect inspired by isis: reports2017-12-11T10:09:02-05:00

“Preliminary investigation at the scene indicates that this male was wearing an improvised low-tech explosive device attached to his body. He intentionally detonated that device,” the New York Police Commissioner said. “There are no known additional incidents or activities…You will see additional NYPD presence throughout the city,” the mayor said in a news conference shortly after the attack.

The Port Authority is a busy transit hub for commuters, and it was evacuated after the explosion, according to The New York Times.