Botched Suicide Bombing in New York City Bus Terminal Wounds 4

A would-be suicide bomber detonated a homemade pipe bomb, strapped to his chest, in the heart of Manhattan’s busiest corridor Monday morning.  The attempt at a terrorist attack in the name of ISIS failed when the bomber’s makeshift weapon failed to detonate fully.  

Although the bomber was the only individual seriously injured, thousands of terrified commuters fled the smoke-filled passageways of Manhattan’s subway system and brought the heart of Midtown to a standstill as numerous emergency personnel converged on the point of attack in Times Square.

The attacker was identified by law enforcement officials as Akayed Ullah, 27, who immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh on a program that provides visas to individuals with family members currently living in the U.S.  

Ullah revealed that he chose the location because of its Christmas-themed posters, an image that, upon seeing, he recalled strikes in Europe, and provoked him to set off his bomb in retaliation for United States airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria and elsewhere.

This attack is the third terrorist attack in New York City since September 2016, occuring only weeks after an attack that left eight dead and several more injured.  Similar to the previous attack, the authorities believe the attacker was a lone wolf, only acting on the behalf of ISIS.

After the explosion, Ullah was subdued and then taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he was in serious condition with burns on his hands and abdomen.  According to Daniel A. Nigro, the Commissioner of the New York Fire Department, only three other people had minor injuries.

As expected, in his first remarks on the attack, President Trump censured the current immigration system that allows for extended family members, and not just spouses or minor children, to receive green cards.

“The terrible harm that this flawed system inflicts on America’s security and economy has long been clear,” Trump said in a statement. “I am determined to improve our immigration system to put our country and our people first.”

While no formal announcement had been made, both federal and local law enforcement officials indicated that Ullah would be prosecuted in federal court in Manhattan by the office of the acting United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Joon H. Kim.