Akayed Ullah sought to ‘strike fear into the hearts of New Yorkers in the name of ISIS’, U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman says
The suspect accused of attempting to bomb a New York subway transit way was indicted by a grand jury on six federal charges Wednesday stemming from the botched Dec. 11 pipe bomb attack.
Akayed Ullah, 27, now faces charges including one count of seeking to provide material support to a terrorist organization, namely Daesh, and one count of using and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Ullah, a Bangladeshi immigrant, was the most severely injured person from the attack in the bombing of a heavily-trafficked underground walkway connecting the Port Authority bus terminal with the subway. He now faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted.
“In selecting this time and place, Ullah’s alleged purpose in the Port Authority bombing was painfully clear: to inflict as much damage as possible, and to strike fear into the hearts of New Yorkers in the name of ISIS. Ullah’s alleged plot failed,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman of the Southern District of New York said in a statement, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or Daesh.
According to court documents, Ullah made a taunting Facebook post directed at President Donald Trump before the attack.
“Trump you failed to protect your nation,” Akayed Ullah wrote on his social media site in the run-up to the attack.
He was read and waived his Miranda Rights, or the right to remain silent, verbally and in writing when interviewed by police, later saying he was inspired by Daesh to carry out the botched attack, the complaint said.
“I did it for the Islamic State,” Ullah allegedly told investigators, according to a criminal complaint. He built the metal screw-filled pipe bomb one week before carrying out the attack. It was attached to his body using zip ties, and used a nine-volt battery and a Christmas tree lightbulb.
It ultimately was not powerful enough to turn the pipe and the metal screws it contained into deadly shrapnel.
During a search of his Brooklyn apartment investigators recovered a passport with a handwritten note reading: “O America, die in your rage”, as well as metal pipes, screws similar to those found at the explosion site, and wires, the complaint said.