NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A suspect carrying a crudely-assembled improvised bomb is in custody following a blast in the underground walkway between Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal Monday morning.

The blast happened at around 7:20 a.m. during Monday morning rush hour.

Five other people suffered minor injuries that are not considered life-threatening. At least three transported themselves to area hospitals with symptoms like ringing in the ears, officials said.

The suspect has been identified as Akayed Ullah, 27, who was wearing an improvised explosive device, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said.

Ullah intentionally detonated the device, O’Neill said.

Akayed Ullah. (credit: Image via CBS2)

Ullah is from Bangladesh. He arrived in the United States in February of 2011 and had a visa. He came in with his parents and 3-4 siblings and subsequently obtained a Green Card and became a permanent U.S. resident.

Ullah has two addresses associated with him in Brooklyn. Neighbors said he lived in a two-story brick house on East 48th Street in Brooklyn with parents and a brother, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported. Investigators were also seen at a home on Ocean Parkway.

He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. He suffered burns to his hands and abdomen.

Ullah made statements to investigators to the effect that he was inspired by ISIS, there is currently a BOLO – be on the lookout – for his brother who is wanted for questioning.

Akayed Ullah (credit: Taxi and Limousine Commission)

“The question is did the suspect utter anything before he detonated the device,” O’Neill said. “It’s part of the investigation.”

Pro-ISIS channels are celebrating Ullah as an “istishadi,” an attacker, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer said.

But law enforcement sources called him a ‘loser in his basement.’

Akayed Ullah moments after a crudely-made device went off underground between Times Square and the Port Authority. (credit: Image via CBS2)

Police spoke with Ullah’s family in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn.

Ullah’s family released a statement on Monday night.

“We are heartbroken by this attack on our city today and by the allegations being made against a member of our family, but we are also outraged by the behavior of law enforcement officials who have held children as young as 4 years old out in the cold and who pulled a teenager out of high school classes to interrogate him without a lawyer, without his parents. These are not the actions that we expect from our justice system, and we hope to see better in the days and weeks to come. We also ask the press to respect our privacy and to give our family time to grieve this horrific development,” they said in part.

Authorities are investigating addresses and workplaces associated with the suspect. Ullah had a NYC Taxi & Limousine “for hire vehicle” license from 2012-2015. That type of license allowed drivers to operate black cars, community livery or limousine.

“He may have been inspired by ISIS. He could’ve been inspired by Al Qaeda. That he was at the very least inspired by Islamist terrorism,” said Rep. Peter King. “It could turn out that this is part of a larger plot. It could be that he has been meeting with other people in Brooklyn or in New York or in the New York metropolitan area and that they could be planning on carrying out attacks. So you can’t rule anything out at this stage. You have to assume the worst and work your way back.”

Neighbors in the area of his home spoke out about the suspect.

“He was just nasty. We would tell him to move the car, he felt like he owned it,” said the owner of a hardware store who had previously fought with Ullah.

“I’ve seen him in the neighborhood walking around. Pretty much looks like he always has something on his mind. Never says hello, doesn’t talk to anybody,” one woman said.

“You never know who anybody is, you never know what can happen or what can be going on next to you,” said one woman who lives next door to Ullah and heard him arguing loudly early Sunday morning.

“He’s a nasty, arrogant, POS,” neighbor Alan Butrico said.

Authorities are investigating the attack as a possible “lone wolf” based on the rudimentary construction of the device. They describe him as a loser in his basement stewing, Kramer reported.

The device was affixed to his body with velcro and zip ties, according to O’Neill.

The crudely-made device had wires protruding from it. The poor construction caused a “flash” of the explosive component, but there were no serious shrapnel injuries consistent with a traditional pipe bomb.

Police and the Joint Terrorism Task Force want to know just what was in the bomb that Ullah apparently detonated prematurely and where got the bomb-making instructions.

“The bomb squad is in the process now, along with the FBI special agent bomb technicians, of processing that crime scene with others. They’re going to gather up those pieces and we’ll have a better idea of what the device was put together with and what was inside,”said NYPD’s counterterrorism chief John Miller.

“Without getting into too many specifics, the device is based on a pipe bomb. It was affixed to his person with a combination of Velcro and zip ties,” Miller continued. “It’s critically important for officials to determine where he got both the materials and the instructions for making the bomb.”

A federal law enforcement official says the device malfunctioned — it did not fully detonate, according to the official.

Sources tell CBS2 that while speaking with police, Akayed said he intended to set off the device with the understanding he would die as a result.

Additionally, sources say Akayed cited several gripes with the United States in his motivation for the bombing, including perceived aggressions by the United States against his home country and the treatment of Muslims around the world under the Bush and Obama administrations.

“With the internet now, anyone can go on the internet and download garbage and vileness on how to put together an amateur-level explosive device,” said N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Terror experts said their worry is the threat of a copycat. Although Akayed didn’t succeed, this was the first time a suicide bomber got inside the subway.

“This is our worst fear. We always were worried about our subway system and having a bomb in the subway system we have what appears to the first suicide bomber actively trying to penetrate our subway system and cause great harm,” Manny Gomez said.

The NYPD is beefing up security around town, officials said.

“NYPD will adjusting and adapting the way they always do. Right now, they don’t believe there’s any follow-up attack immediately planned, but there are still several weeks to go before Christmas, two weeks from today,” King said.

Port Authority Police Officer Jack Collins held the suspect at gunpoint assisted by officers Sean Gallagher, Drew Preston and Anthony Manfredini.

Web Extra: File Video Of Hero Port Authority Police Officer Jack Collins

Anyone with any information about Ullah is asked to call authorities at 1-888-NYC-SAFE.

Comments (56)
  1. No questions no trial hang the MF todayy in Time Square so ISIS can see it

  2. Mike Arvand says:

    This is what the US gets for letting muslims in here.

    1. I wonder if anyone noticed that law enforcement arrived AFTER the incident. That’s the way it’s supposed to happen. Law enforcement is designed to respond to criminal and terror events. That’s why it’s vital for Americans to have a personal means of defense against crime.

      Purchase a firearm. At this point, It doesn’t matter if it’s legal or illegal. What matters is that you and your family will still be alive!

  3. Islamic ideology is not nor will it ever be compatible with Western civilization. the more PC we become, the less ‘civilized’ we shall be.

  4. Enemy combatant by all indications … He belongs to Guantanamo Bay – a facility for the likes of him. No civil court in the US – court martial in Gitmo only. No constitutional rights – waived by his deed. As simple as that.

  5. We need to start kicking these people out fast.

  6. Tom Truther says:

    The decision to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel is causing a increase of Islamic violence around the world, the worst will be against Jews and Israel. Israel absolutely knew it would happen, enjoy now. America should not have supported… No more wars for Israel, ban AIPAC from America….#MAGA

  7. Doug Wallace says:

    NO MORE MUSLIMS WANTED IN AMERICA. NO MORE. WE SIMPLY DO NOT WANT THEM HERE AND WE DON’T NEED THEM HERE. NO MORE.

  8. Islam and the rest of the world are not compatible. A radical Muslim will chop your head off, a moderate Muslim will hand him the sword. When will we ever learn?

    1. Greg Heath says:

      America Can’t Learn because it’s not “Politically Correct”. America needs to wake up to the fact that Islam is clashing with the West. It is civilization jihad. Poor Ny’ers can’t even protect themselves personally. It’s a travesty in a “free country”.. Islam is not compatible with the West. Islam Cannot be “reformed”. It is what it is. A death cult to billions. Trump was right to block these cretins. Check out PoliticalIslam.com

    2. Mark Ginsel says:

      Radical Muslims are the dangerous snakes. Moderate Muslims are the grass they hide in.

  9. Gene Maynard says:

    “NYPD will adjusting and adapting the way they always do. Right now, they don’t believe there’s any follow-up attack immediately planned, but there are still several weeks to go before Christmas, two weeks from today,” King said.

    BUT, you also did not believe that there was an INITIAL attack planned… !?!?!?!?!?!?

  10. Trump should push for stronger vetting and also go after sanctuary cities, like New York, with vengeance.

  11. Gary O'Neal says:

    When are we going to come to our senses and forbid private ownership of velcro and zip ties? How many have to die? When we outlaw velcro and zip ties only outlaws will have velcro and zip ties!

  12. Mike Arvand says:

    Any city with muslims in it, risks this. We need to ban muslims

    1. Rob Lynn says:

      Starting with Barack Hussein Obama.

  13. After Japan started bombing Hawaii and Darwin Australia Japanese all over the USA and Canada were rounded up and put in camps. 99% of them posed no risk and maybe it was an overreaction but the Govt. was in no mood to deal with anyone from that country. This roundup was not racism as Japanese is a nationality NOT a race. What is needed now is a roundup of ANYONE that considers them self Islamic, this for our own protection. Islamic people are mentally defective from the day they are born. They are an ever present danger to others. We need concentration and retraining camps to deprogram them and the snowflake liberals who support them. Start at Berkeley. CHANGE WE NEED / CHANGE WE MUST

    1. Islam is no more a mental defect than Catholicism. Islam has been at war with Catholicism for over a thousand years now. The Crusades were never ended. This country was founded on religious freedom, in part, because of people fleeing from the persecution of religion which has been going on in Europe for centuries. If we value freedom, we will remember that it comes at a cost, and going back to religious persecution is a huge step backward. Prompt execution of those who violate peace is probably the only hope. Sadly many forget how effective this kind of justice was.

  14. Jackie Meyer says:

    New York governor: “Let’s get back to our daily business”. Oh, that will p1ss them off! Like disruption is the goal. #CLUELESS

  15. Here’s an Idea…lets bring a lot more just like him to our shores…what could possibly go wrong?

  16. David Kachel says:

    We need a new approach. Whoever signed the final permission for each of these subhumans to get into the country, should get exactly the same sentence as the terrorist. Imagine how careful they would be from that instant on!!!

  17. Congress should be working on creating stricter bombs laws! Bombs kill people! They should be illegal! Where is Congress! They only seem to want stricter gun laws!

  18. asudad90 says:

    The issue is Obama gave visas to people not properly vetted. It was controlled by political hacks. This is now an FBI issue that needs them to round up those people Obama let in, Liberals have tried to stop Trump, who has stopped all entry from those countries with known Terrorists till vetting is done. Liberals are the problem with this country.

  19. Samuel Hain says:

    Thanks for importing this Throwback, B.O.!

  20. I hope they are checking for any biological agents that may have been used!

  21. Islam is a death cult led by a pedophile.

  22. Another Obamic Terrorist complements of the liberal DemocRAT party.

  23. Burnt chimps make me laugh. Allah hates extra crispy, no virgins for you Skippy.

  24. If anyone in Homeland Security says this was “a lone wolf, not terrorist related, no danger to the public, no other people believed involved”…. then we are in worse trouble than during the Obama administration reign of terror. They usually make those false statements within minutes of the Muslim terrorist action.

  25. Jim Olson says:

    Why arrest him? Just put a bullet in his head, throw him in the sewer and move on. We don’t need people like that walking round.

  26. At 27 years old, this Islamofacist moron will spend a lot of time in a jail cell before he finally croaks.

  27. Jim Morrison says:

    Looks like he could be one of Obama’s sons

  28. David Grimes says:

    Can someone please explain to me why we would allow ANY muslim into our country.

  29. burnet1187 says:

    Put him in a bunker with the Mayor, equip him with a more effective device, and let him try it again.

    1. asudad90 says:

      This is another Terrorist Obama let in due to lax vetting and wanting to flood the country with Democrat voters.

  30. jmattaboni says:

    Why do we let these people into our country? Is there some shortage of people? Oh, well, at least it’s NY — they vote for this all day long and now they’re getting it, good and hard.

  31. Chris Beyer says:

    Just think, Obama and Hillary wanted to bring multitudes of these middle eastern people into our country. Thank goodness for Donald Trump. I am not a fan of his tweets but he is on the mark policy wise.

  32. blenderrecipes says:

    Clearly we need better velcro and zip tie control

  33. tonyome says:

    Another muslim setting off a bomb? Shocking! I hope Deblasio cracks down on Islamaphobia in light of this “lone wolf” attack.

  34. Samuel Brady says:

    Hehe…to help combat a real problem, we have setup another terrorist hotline. Premature detonation is an embarrassing problem for most suicide bombers. If you or a loved one suffers from PD, please call 1-800 NO BOOMS Give them your name, address and when you intend to carryout your next attack and they’ll make sure you never suffer from PD ever again.
    This is a Veteran owned and operated enterprise, all rights reserved…by our constitution. : )

  35. Vox Veritas says:

    Another Obama (Democrat Special) dreamer fails in the attempt.

  36. Thanks, democRats! How diverse of you.

  37. https://www.facebook.com/JaydaFransenOfficialPage/photos/a.304947539890676.1073741828.303920943326669/510345232684238/?type=3&theater Well, from the looks of it, he took it to the front and center. Maybe he blew off his wittle goat poker in the process. Ha ha! What a dumb ass!

  38. Mark Altman says:

    Torture him by any means necessary to get the names of anyone else involved. Close all mosque in N.Y NOW!

  39. Mat Helm says:

    Although, New York’ers did vote for more of this sort in their midst…

  40. Alert Alert New Yorkers!!! Your Mayor and Governor promote and allow these types of individuals to enter your Communities In the hopes that an attack will occur. Why would they do this? They use these types of attacks to promote themselves nationally in the hopes the exposure will eventually get them in the White House.

  41. Frank Muller says:

    Close the mosque he was attending and deport his entire family and ban them from ever returning.

  42. David Koob says:

    Hoist by his own petard. Somewhere Shakespeare is laughing in his grave.

  43. I’m sure Akayed Ullah was worshiping in a Synagogue on Friday evening and St. Patrick’s Cathedral of Sunday morning and they both directed him to bomb the subway. Because nobody from the religion of peace would ever do something like that.

      1. No way. Amish take great pride in their work. If he had been Amish, the homemade bomb certainly would have gone off.

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