Surveillance video shows the moment an apparent “suicide bomber” detonated a “pipe bomb” in New York City’s Port Authority terminal in a pedestrian walkway near Times Square Monday morning during rush hour. The NYPD is calling it a “terror-related incident.”
The suspected attacker, identified by CBS New York as Akayed Ullah, and three others suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to the FDNY. The suspect has been taken into custody, the NYPD says.
According to the New York Post, the suspect is a 27-year-old man who last lived in Brooklyn. Former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton said on MSNBC the attacker is originally from Bangladesh and has been in the U.S. for about seven years. Bratton said that, according to preliminary info, the man was wearing a device and was attempting to carry out a terror attack in the name of ISIS.
“So definitely a terrorist attack, definitely intended,” Bratton said on MSNBC. The NYPD hasn’t confirmed a motive.
The incident happened about 7:30 a.m. at the 42nd St and 8th Ave transit hub.
The suspect suffered minor, non-life-threatening injuries, according to NBC News.
The video was filmed on a cell phone by someone watching a surveillance video monitor.
“The guy in the hoodie,” a man says, pointing to him on the monitor. The video then shows the blast as smoke fills the hallway. A man can be seen sprawled on the ground as the smoke begins to clear. “He never took his hand out of his pocket.”
A photo posted on social media appears to show the wounded suspect after the explosion.
CNN, citing federal and local law enforcement sources, reports that the bomb appears to have unintentionally exploded and that the Port Authority might not have been the attacker’s target,
The blast occurred underground in a subway tunnel leading to the main Port Authority terminal, about 200 yards away, the New York Daily News reports. Police found wires coming from the suspect’s body after the blast.
“A lady told me, ‘Go away. There was an explosion down there,'” Ulises Sanchez, 53, told the Daily News. “Everybody was trying to get out.”
Ali, an 18-year-old student, told NBC News, “I was about to swipe in my card and out of nowhere, we heard a really loud bang, everyone said ‘get out, get out!'”
His friend, Saidou Choudhury, 19, told NBC, it “sounded like it was deep inside,” adding, “I was traumatized.”
Alicja Wlodkowski, 51, told the New York Times, “A woman fell, and nobody even stopped to help her because it was so crazy,” she said. Then it all slowed down. I was standing and watching and scared.”
Another witness, Andre Rodriguez, told the Times, “I was going through the turnstile. It sounded like an explosion, and everybody started running.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo were headed to the scene of the blast and planned to give a press conference later Monday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Twitter that President Trump has been briefed on the incident.
The NYPD is investigating along with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The apparent attack comes six weeks after a truck driver, Sayfullo Saipov, drove deliberately down a bike path in Manhattan, killing eight people and wounding several others. Saipov was arrested after he was shot by a police officer and is facing terrorism charges. Saipov has said he carried out the attack, the first deadly terror incident in New York City since 9/11, on behalf of ISIS.
In 2016, a pipe bomb was detonated in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, injuring nearly 30 people. Ahmad Rahami was convicted of federal terror charges for that attack, and attempted bombings in New Jersey, earlier this year.
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