Port Authority 'bomber' was completely off our radar

Lynette Rowe
December 15, 2017

The blast injured five people, including Ullah, who was badly hurt.

Miller also said it's getting harder and harder to stop lone wolf terrorists like Ullah.

Ullah arrived in the United States in 2011; the complaint says his radicalization began about 2014.

Bangladesh's police chief had told Reuters on Monday that Ullah had no criminal record in his home country, which he last visited in September.

CNN quoted Police Commissioner James O'Neil as saying that "the suspect's name is Akayed Ullah, who is 27 years old".

Four Port Authority Police Union officers prevented a secondary explosion with their "split-second reaction", according to union president Paul Nunziato.

The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the nation's largest bus terminal and also the world's busiest, according to the agency.

He suffered burns and other wounds and is now in the hospital.

He "was living here, went through number of jobs, was not particularly struggling financially or had any known pressures", Miller said, adding Ullah "was not on our radar at NYPD, not on the Federal Bureau of Investigation radar".

"This could have been worse", a law enforcement source told ABC News. The device that detonated was a foot-long pipe that contained black powder, a battery, wiring, nails and screws. The bomber goes down as the people around him flee.

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With the evacuated Port Authority Bus Terminal now a crime scene, heavily armed police officers maintained the perimeter.

On grainy surveillance footage, commuters are seen walking through a tunnel when a burst of smoke erupts into the hallway, quickly filling it. Commuters flinch and take cover. He could be seen on the video lying on a hospital bed with his head propped up on a pillow and his body covered up to his neck in sheets.

Before he launched his attack, the suspect taunted President Trump on Facebook and scrawled a message onto his passport that read, "O AMERICA, DIE IN YOUR RAGE", prosecutors said. Israel launched airstrikes this weekend against what it said were Hamas targets in Gaza after several rockets were fired out of Gaza toward Israel. This is also the first instance of a terrorist attack in the USA since President Trump announced the US would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, sparking outrage and protests across the Muslim world.

- In conversations with authorities, Ullah pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

"I did it for the Islamic State", Ullah said, as cited in the complaint.

Ullah was inspired by ISIS to carry out the attack, according to the complaint.

Albert Fox Cahn, legal director for NY chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, read a statement on behalf of Ullah's family Monday evening, saying, "We are heartbroken by the violence that was targeted at our city today and by the allegations being made against a member of our family".

Bangladesh police said Ullah's family hailed from Sandwip, an island off the coast of the southern port city of Chittagong, but his father had left for the capital Dhaka some 30 years ago. The officials were unable to say if Ullah had driven a yellow cab or for a private service like Lyft or Uber. Allan Fromberg, spokesman for the city Taxi and Limousine Commission, said Ullah was licensed as a for-hire driver from March 2012 through March 2015.

Journalists try to talk with the family members of Akayed Ullah at a building where he used to live in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on December 12. In the last few years, Butrico said, he had some unpleasant encounters with Ullah.

On Sunday night, Butrico added, one of his tenants heard the sounds of "big fighting" coming from Ullah's house, though it remained uncertain what the trouble might have been.

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