Terror suspect sets off pipe bomb in underground subway passage near Port Authority Bus Terminal

New York Daily News — Dec 11, 2017

Firefighters arrive at the scene of the blast. Click to enlarge

Firefighters arrive at the scene of the blast. Click to enlarge

A pipe bomb exploded in an underground subway passage between Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal — one of the busiest transit hubs in the world — on Monday in what officials are calling a terrorist attack.

Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi native, detonated part of his “low tech” explosive and was injured in an underground subway passage just 200 feet from the bus terminal at West 42nd St. and Eighth Ave., officials said. Three commuters suffered minor injuries, officials said.

After the explosion, Port Authority cops moved in and struggled with Ullah, who had wires attached to his body, sources said.

He tried to set off the rest of his bomb, but only part of it went off. Two PAPD officers grabbed him and successfully removed the explosives without further incident.

He was taken to Bellevue Hospital with burns to the hands and the abdomen and also lacerations and is expected to survive, sources said.

Security guard Christina Bethea, 29, of Yonkers, had just gotten off the downtown No. 1 train and walked down the stairs to get to Eighth Ave.

“At the end of the tunnel, we heard the explosion, BOOM!” she said. “You could see the smoke coming. When I saw the smoke, I just ran up the stairs.”

Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said preliminary information suggests Ullah “supposedly was setting the device off in the name of ISIS, so definitely a terrorist attack, definitely intended.”

The man has been in the country for about seven years, Bratton said. The device was affixed to his body with velcro and zip ties.

“This was an attempted terrorist attack,” Mayor de Blasio said.

“Thank God he did not achieve his goal. Thank God the only injuries we know about at this point are minor.”

Add Gov. Cuomo, “We are a target by many who would like to make a statement against freedom … Let’s go back to work we are not going to allow them to disrupt us.”

Authorities evacuated the A, C and E trains, but didn’t find any structural damage. The Times Square station was also evacuated and shut down as the investigation progressed.

“It’s pretty chaotic over there right now,” said a law enforcement source with knowledge of the situation.

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