Port Authority attack suspect: What we know about Akayed Ullah
(CNN) — An explosion Monday morning at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan is, in the words of Police Commissioner James O’Neill, a “terror-related incident.”
The explosion happened on a walkway below ground near 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue. The suspect, Akayed Ullah, and three other people were injured.
Information on what is known about the suspect is emerging.
Who is he?
— Police identified the suspect as Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old man.
— He lives in Brooklyn and is of Bangladeshi descent, two law enforcement sources said.
— Police are asking anyone who may have any information about him or the incident to call a terror hotline at 888-NYC-SAFE.
— Ullah held a New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission for-hire vehicle driver’s license from March 2012 through March 2015, NYC TLC Deputy Commissioner for Public Affairs Allan J. Fromberg said in a statement to CNN.
— That license lapsed and was not renewed in March of 2015, Fromberg said.
— Ullah was not licensed to drive a NYC yellow taxi, he said.
— “As taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers are independent contractors and not employees, I have no way of knowing whether he drove for any particular base, or whether he simply got the license but didn’t drive at all,” Fromberg said. “That said, since he held an FHV license, if in fact he did drive, we do know that it could not have been a yellow taxi.”
— The suspect wore an “improvised low-tech explosive device attached to his body. He intentionally detonated that device,” O’Neill said.
— Ullah told police he made the device at his workplace, according to a senior New York law enforcement official and a city official being briefed on the investigation.
— The device was a pipe bomb affixed to his person with a combination of Velcro and zip ties, John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, said.
— Recent Israeli actions in Gaza compelled Ullah to carry out the attack, a law enforcement source said. The suspect was upset, in his words, with the “incursion into Gaza,” the source said, but did not elaborate on what incursion he may have been alluding to. Israel launched airstrikes this weekend against what it said were Hamas targets in Gaza after several rockets were fired out of Gaza towards Israel. This came amid widespread protests over President Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
— Asked if the suspect claimed connection to ISIS, O’Neill told reporters that “he did make statements” but refrained from disclosing what he said.
— Authorities are conducting background checks on Ullah.
— Alan Butrico owns a residential building next door to the building where he says Ullah and his family live.
— Butrico said Ullah lives in the basement, his sister on the first floor and his brother on the top floor.
— Neighbors told Butrico they had heard fighting and yelling at Ullah’s home during the past two nights.
— Ullah is in custody and is now at Bellevue Hospital. He is being treated for lacerations and burns to his hands and abdomen.