New York explosion: Suicide bomber in custody after 'attempted terrorist attack'

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Officials said the explosion was an attempted terrorist attack (Rex)

– Blast happened at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan, near Times Square
– Suspect named as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah
– Four people, including the suspected bomber, suffer non-life-threatening injuries
– Suspect in custody and some New York subway lines evacuated

An explosive device set off on a New York subway platform has been described as an “attempted terrorist attack” by the city’s mayor.

Speaking to reporters, Bill de Blasio confirmed: “This was an attempted terrorist attack” while the police commissioner James O’Neill said it was a “terror related” incident.

Mayor Bill de Blasio added: “Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals.”

The suspect in the in the explosion is 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, from Bangladesh, who was living at an address in Brooklyn and had been in the country for seven years, according to Mr O’Neill.

Police block off a sidewalk while responding to the explosion near Times Square (AP)
NYPD patrol cars rush to the scene in downtown New York. (Reuters)
The explosion took place in the heart of Manhattan (PA)

Police believe Ullah was working alone and confirmed he is now in custody.

Officials said he was inspired by Islamic State but had apparently not had any direct contact with the group.

The pipe bomb explosion inside the subway happened in an underground passageway between Seventh and Eighth Avenues on 42nd Street.


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The incident happened at around 7.30am on 40th Street and Eighth Avenue near Times Square.

The blast injured the suspect and three other people, but none are said to be suffering life-threatening injuries.

Authorities said the bomb was a low-tech explosive device and they are now  investigating how it was made while combing through surveillance footage that captured the blast on video.

A video posted on social media showed the security footage which shows a man walking through the crowded pedestrian tunnel and the bomb suddenly going off in a plume of white smoke.

Through the smoke, the suspect is then seen sprawled on the ground as bystanders flee.

Fire officials said the suspect had burns to his hands and abdomen.

The others who were injured suffered ringing in ears and headaches.

Police are investigating whether Ullah intended to set off the device in the walkway, or whether he had meant to do it in a busier location.

A photo in the New York Post showed a bearded man with his arms held behind his back by a police officer with soot covering the man’s bare midriff.

Police believe the suspect suffered injuries in the blast (Reuters)
The explosion took place at one of the busiest periods of the day in New York (Reuters)
Police confirmed they have the 27-year-old suspect in custody (Reuters)

The Port Authority Bus Terminal, the nation’s largest bus hub, was shut down, along with the eight subway lines and all streets around Times Square.

The explosion triggered a massive emergency response by police and fire both above and below ground, disrupting subway and bus services at the Port Authority.

Video showed queues of police and emergency vehicles, their lights flashing, lining the streets and no other vehicle traffic moving.

Everything around the Port Authority area was shut down, while New Jersey Transit buses heading to the Port Authority were diverted to other locations.

The explosion triggered a massive emergency response by New York police and fire services both above and below ground, tangling subway and bus service at the nearby Port Authority bus terminal.

Police stand guard in Manhattan following the attack (Rex)
Fire crews rushed to the scene as subway lines were evacuated (Rex)

Elrana Peralta, a customer service worker for Greyhound, said she works in the Port Authority terminal complex near where the blast happened, but did not hear the explosion.

She said: “All we could hear was the chaos. “We could hear people yelling, ‘Get out! Get out! Get out!'”

John Miles, 28, from Vermont, was waiting for a bus to Massachusetts when het saw police react.

He said: “I didn’t know what was going on. Officers were running around. I was freaking out. There was an announcement that people should take their bags and leave.

“They didn’t incite panic. It was fairly orderly.”

Donald Trump’s press secretary Sarah Sanders said the President “has been briefed on the explosion in New York City”.