The suspect in the failed New York City terror attack — identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah — targeted the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan because of its Christmas-themed posters, according to law enforcement officials who spoke on background to the New York Times, and sought to extract revenge for United States airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria and other countries.
Ullah specifically cited past ISIS attacks against Christmas markets, like last year’s truck attack in Berlin that killed 12 people and injured dozens more.
Today’s early-morning blast struck in a tunnel between several subway lines just as the morning rush hour was underway, paralyzing a busy stretch of Manhattan. Four people were injured in the blast, none seriously. Within hours, police and New York City authorities had reopened the scene to commuters.
So far, police believe the suspect acted alone. One homemade explosive, attached to Ullah’s body with velcro and zip ties, apparently did not detonate. The suspect suffered burns to his hands and torso, and is currently hospitalized in serious condition.
Ullah, a legal permanent resident from Bangladesh who holds a green card, reportedly said he learned to build the bombs online, which is also where he read ISIS propaganda and other media that inspired him to carry out the attack. It’s not yet clear when Ullah was radicalized.
In recent years, Ullah had worked as a licensed cab driver and, more recently, an electrician, according to NBC. He lives in Brooklyn.