The New York bomber told officials that he was inspired by recent ISIS christmas strikes across Europe.
The man who detonated a pipe bomb near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, chose the location because of the christmas posters lining the subway walls. He said that they referenced the strikes against Christmas markets that recently occurred across Europe.
During Monday morning’s busy commute at 7:20 am, 27 year old Akayed Ullah detonated a pipe bomb in New York’s busy subway system, causing chaos for terror-stricken travellers.
The explosion went off in the corridors between Eighth Avenue, Seventh Avenue and Broadway subway.
— National Review (@NRO) December 11, 2017
Ullah, a former cab driver and immigrant from Bangladesh who lived in Brooklyn, strapped the pipe bomb to his body with velcro and zip ties, and entered the busy subway system to carry out what would have been a suicide bombing.
However, the home-made weapon went off prematurely, reducing the impact of the explosion.
Fortunately only five people received minor injuries, but the attacker was rushed to hospital in a serious condition, suffering burns to his hands and abdomen.
He explained to officials that the attack was in revenge for US airstrikes carried out on ISIS targets across Syria.
“They’ve been bombing [my people] and I wanted to do damage here,” he said according to sources who told the New York Post.
Officals have said however that Ullah acted alone, and there are currently no known ties to ISIS.
BREAKING VIDEO: MOMENT OF EXPLOSION AT TIMES SQUARE SUBWAY STATION pic.twitter.com/bb6nEPwfqD
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 11, 2017
Within hours of the attack, a press conference was held at Times Square where Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident an attempted terror attack.
“Let’s be clear that this was an attempted terrorist attack,” The Mayor said.
“As New Yorkers, our lives revolve around the subways. When we hear of an attack in the subways, it’s incredibly unsettling.”
“The terrorists want to undermine that. They yearn to attack New York City.”
Christina Bethea who was in the underground corridor, told The New York Times that the explosion sent her flying to the ground, and heavy smoke smothered the walkway.
“As soon as we heard ‘boom!’ we began to run,” she said.
This attack comes only a month after a van ploughed into pedestrians and cyclists in lower Manhattan, that killed eight and severely wounded many more.