Bomber ‘wanted to damage’ NYC with Time Square attack
ONE of Manhattan's busiest commuter hubs was hit by a suspected terror attack, when a bomb was ignited on a subway platform at the Port Authority Bus Terminal during rush hour.
Police have identified the would-be jihadi as 27-year-old as Akayed Ullah who intentionally detonated an improvised low-tech explosive device injuring three nearby people.
The man had wires attached to him and was armed with a pipe bomb and a battery pack, which he tried set off in the subway around 7.20am (11.20pm AEDT) Monday local time, according to police sources.
BREAKING VIDEO: MOMENT OF EXPLOSION AT TIMES SQUARE SUBWAY STATION pic.twitter.com/bb6nEPwfqD— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 11, 2017
Police told the New York Post that the bomber was a former New York taxi driver who told investigators he carried out the attack for revenge, police sources said.
"They've been bombing in my country and I wanted to do damage here," sources said.
Ullah reportedly suffered burns to his abdomen and hands and was in custody at New York's Bellevue Hospital.
Local media reported that the suspect was from Bangladesh and lived in Brooklyn, having been in the US for seven years.
The three injured people took themselves to nearby hospitals where they reported minor injuries, including ringing to the ears.
Update regarding explosion at 42nd St and 8th Ave, in subway: One male suspect is in custody. No injuries other than suspect at this time. Avoid the area. Subways bypassing #PortAuthority and Times Square Stations. Info is preliminary. pic.twitter.com/bEAdjq8mYc— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 11, 2017
A police spokesman said the device was based on a pipe bomb and affixed to his person with a combination of velcro and cable ties.
The device partially detonated below ground inside the subway passageway to the N, Q and R trains near 7th and 8th avenues on 42nd St and was captured on surveillance video.
Police on the scene told News Corp Australia they were "not allowed" to comment.
Following Monday's attack, commuters told of mass chaos and a "stampede" following the explosion as New York commuters fled in terror through the smoky passageway.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said a bomb in the New York subway was "one of our worst nightmares" but that the reality of the attack was that it was an "effectively low-tech device".
"There were several injuries, we hope minor and it was handled extraordinarily well," Governor Cuomo said.
He said disruptions to the train and bus services had been restored. "This is New York and the reality is that we are a target for many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom," he said.
He said there were no further credible threats against the city and the device was "an amateur level explosive device".
"We have the best law enforcement on the globe and now are all working together extremely well," he said.
Port Authority is the largest bus terminal in the United States with about 232,000 commuters passing through each day.
Lots of emergency responders on 8th Ave. between 42nd and 43rd streets. pic.twitter.com/AdVuduoAoU— Niraj Chokshi (@NirajC) December 11, 2017
The peak hour explosion plunged Manhattan's traffic into gridlock, with multiple streets in mid-town New York closed.
President Donald Trump was briefed on the explosion, said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
.@POTUS has been briefed on the explosion in New York City— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 11, 2017
However, the President's first tweet of the day, at 9.17am (1.17am AEDT) local time, was not related to the bombing but to again attack The New York Times.
"Another false story, this time in the Failing @nytimes, that I watch 4-8 hours of television a day - Wrong! Also, I seldom, if ever, watch CNN or MSNBC, both of which I consider Fake News. I never watch Don Lemon, who I once called the "dumbest man on television!" Bad Reporting," Mr Trump tweeted.
The bombing, which former New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said he had been told by sources in the department the explosion was an "ISIS-inspired attack", would be New York City's second ISIS-inspired attack in less than two months.
On October 30, a man drove his rented truck down a cycle path along the Hudson River, killing eight and injuring 11 others.