Police have identified the suspect in an “attempted terrorist attack” near New York City’s Port Authority bus terminal during Monday morning’s rush hour — an explosion that prompted mass chaos and halted multiple subway lines, the NYPD said.
The suspected bomber was identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah.
An “effectively low tech device” was detonated in a subway passageway just before 7:30 a.m., New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference.
“This is New York, the reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom,” Cuomo said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “This was attempted terrorist attack,” adding that there was no additional threat at this time.
BREAKING VIDEO: Moment of explosion at 42nd St and 8th Avenue in Manhattan pic.twitter.com/JwygdnnwNb
— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) December 11, 2017
NYPD, FDNY and first responders are working to secure the area, and an investigation is underway. pic.twitter.com/DCbVmmaZQy
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 11, 2017
Several people were injured in the incident, the governor added. The suspect has injuries that are not life threatening, The Associated Press reported. Officials later said three other people suffered injuries that are not life threatening.
Ullah is an ISIS-inspired Bangladeshi national who lived in Brooklyn, law enforcement sources told The New York Post. The suspect allegedly packed the 5-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack into the right side of his jacket, but the device exploded prematurely. The suspect told police he made the bomb at the electrical company where he works, The New York Post reported.
A large police presence was spotted soon after the explosion in a section of Brooklyn that boasts a significant Bangladeshi population.
The explosion reportedly occurred around 7:30 a.m. near 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, NYPD and FDNY officials confirmed to Fox News.
An NYPD source on the scene told Fox News a device went off, and there was a bomb strapped to a person. Port Authority police took down the suspected bomber at gunpoint, Port Authority Police Benevolent Association tweeted. A law enforcement official also told AP that police believe the explosive device was set off on a Manhattan subway platform.
President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted.
If the attack is confirmed to be ISIS-inspired, it would be the second ISIS-inspired attack in New York City in less than two months. An Oct. 31 terror attack killed eight people and injured 11 others after a man drove a rented truck into people walking and cycling on a bike path in Lower Manhattan.
Several people wrote on social media shortly after the reports of an explosion that there was mass chaos at the bus terminal, some saying there was a “stampede” when the blast was heard.
A Greyhound bus driver told Fox News he heard a loud noise and was soon ordered by authorities to leave.
“I don’t argue with the guns,” the man said.
John, 25, was on his way to work when he heard about the explosion: “It’s sad to say but it’s just another day [here].”
“It’s crazy. It’s chaos right now,” said Lisa, 53, who was visiting from Columbus, Ohio. “You do hear about it or see it, but I wasn’t expecting to see this on my run for Starbucks.”
Police tweeted that the A, C and E subways lines were being evacuated. Several subway lines bypassed Times Square and Port Authority after the incident. The terminal reopened after it was temporarily closed.
Port Authority is the largest bus terminal in the U.S., and about 232,000 commuters go through the area daily. The number of passengers is expected to jump to 337,000 daily by 2040.