New York bombing suspect reportedly posted Trump ‘failed to protect’ US
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security confirmed on Monday evening that Ullah, a Bangladeshi national, had been admitted to the US in 2011.
The man who allegedly detonated an explosive device in New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal Monday may have taunted Donald Trump in a Facebook post just before the attack.
“Trump you failed to protect your nation,” attacker Akayed Ullah apparently posted the morning of the explosion, according to the US attorney’s office for Southern New York.
Ullah was charged on five federal terrorism-related counts on Tuesday, including use of weapons of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use. The 27-year-old was taken into custody shortly after the improvised body-worn pipe bomb he was carrying exploded in the busy commuter hub Monday morning.
Ullah was one of four people injured in the explosion and was questioned by law enforcement after being treated at New York’s Bellevue hospital on Monday. Ullah reportedly told officials he chose the mass transit hub for his attack because of the festive Christmas-themed posters on display there.
Officials said Ullah was radicalized online, and had acted in retaliation for US airstrikes in Syria and elsewhere against the Islamic State, or Isis. “I did it for the Islamic State,” he told investigators, according to the federal criminal complaint. Authorities also report finding Ullah’s passport in his possession with the handwritten annotation “O AMERICA, DIE IN YOUR RAGE”.
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security confirmed on Monday evening that Ullah, a Bangladeshi national, had been admitted to the US in 2011 on an F43 family immigrant visa. “The suspect is a lawful permanent resident who benefited from extended family chain migration,” the spokesman said.
According to the federal complaint, Ullah built the crude explosive devices with a metal pipe, a nine-volt battery, incendiary powder and ironically, a Christmas tree lightbulb.
New York officials, including mayor Bill de Blasio were quick to call the bombing attempt an act of terrorism. New York State governor Andrew Cuomo added: “Anyone can go on the internet and download garbage and vileness, how to put together an amateur level explosive device, and that is the reality we live with.”
On Monday night, Ullah’s family said in statement that it was “heartbroken” and “deeply saddened” by the suffering the attack had caused. The statement also said the family was outraged by some of law enforcement’s tactics, including pulling a teenage relative from class and questioning him without a parent, guardian or attorney present.
It was also reported that police in Bangladesh were interrogating Ullah’s relatives about the attack, including his wife.
Officers picked up Akayed Ullah’s wife, Jannatul Ferdous Jui, along with her parents from a neighbourhood in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Tuesday afternoon.
Other relatives, including Ullah’s uncle, are also being questioned on the small island off the south-east coast of Bangladesh where the alleged bomber was born and spent his childhood before moving to Dhaka and then to the US seven years ago.
- This article was amended on 12 December 2017 to clarify the charges Akayed Ullah is facing.
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