NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Bangladeshi immigrant charged in a failed pipe bombing attempt in a tunnel near the Port Authority Bus Terminal pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Thursday afternoon.
With a heavy black beard and a dark gray T-shirt over his beige prison scrubs, Ullah spoke softly, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
“At this moment, not guilty,” he said when the judge asked to enter his plea.
Ullah’s public defender, Amy Gallicchio, would not explain the unusual phrasing.
“When we has an indictment containing charges like this, I think that it’s easy to lose sight of the very important and invaluable rights that every person is afforded,” she said.
The 27-year-old stands charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization and other counts in the Dec. 11 attack.
Surveillance video captured the moment when, according to investigators, Ullah set off what law enforcement agents described as a poorly constructed pipe bomb. Investigators say he strapped the device to himself with Velcro and zip ties.
According to a federal criminal complaint, Ullah told authorities he “did it for the Islamic State.”
Authorities said he taunted President Donald Trump on Facebook before the attack writing, “Trump you failed to protect your nation.”
The president later demanded tightened immigration rules.
Ullah could face life in prison if he is convicted of all charges in the attack.
He remains held without bail.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)