NYC bomber mocked Trump before striking busy subway station
Sheetal Sukhija - Wednesday 13th December, 2017
Authorities brought federal charges against the Bangladeshi immigrant
Before carrying out the attack, the bomber left a mocking message for Trump on Facebook
The bomber was identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah
NEW YORK, U.S. - As investigators learnt more about the history of the New York City suicide bomber, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, shocking facts emerged.
On Tuesday, reports revealed that the Bangladeshi immigrant, who was arrested in a botched suicide bombing in the New York subway had mocked U.S. President Donald Trump on Facebook on his way to carry out the attack.
Ullah reportedly wrote on the social network, "Trump you failed to protect your nation.”
Authorities made the revelation after they brought federal charges against him
On Monday morning, the bomb was detonated at around 7.20 a.m. in an underground passageway between Times Square - the city's busiest subway station which accommodates 220,000 passenger trips a day - and the bustling Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Law enforcement officials have stated that the suspect was first spotted on a security camera as he began to climb the subway station stairs to the 18th Avenue F. train platform in Brooklyn at 6:25 a.m.
He then switched to the A train at Jay St./MetroTech stop in Brooklyn before exiting the train at the Port Authority Bus Terminal stop in Manhattan.
Further, the grainy surveillance footage shows commuters walking through a tunnel when a burst of smoke erupts into the hallway, quickly filling it.
Commuters flinch and take cover and when the smoke clears, a man can be seen lying on the ground in the hallway.
Ullah was accused of detonating a pipe bomb strapped to his body in an underground passageway.
Officials said that the device did not fully detonate, and the bomber was the only one seriously hurt in the Monday morning attack.
After immediate evacuations and efforts by the NYPD and the FBI to clear the area and minimize any harm to civilians, the bomber was identified and rushed to the hospital with burns on his hands and torso.
At the hospital, the criminal complaint stated that the bomber told officers, "I did it for the Islamic State.”
Meanwhile, investigators are said to have carried out a search of his Brooklyn apartment, where they found a passport in his name, scrawled with the words "O AMERICA, DIE IN YOUR RAGE.”
Court papers showed that Ullah started to become radicalized in 2014 and began researching how to build a bomb after watching ISIS propaganda materials online, include a video urging supporters to carry out attacks in their home countries.
However, law enforcement officials have stated that there was no evidence he had any direct contact with the militants.
Reports stated that while Ullah was expected to appear before a magistrate, it was not immediately clear if he was well enough to go to court.
Meanwhile, addressing a news conference on Tuesday, Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said Ullah picked a rush hour on a weekday to maximize casualties in his quest “to kill, to maim and to destroy.”
Kim said that Ullah, “with a hate-filled heart and an evil purpose,” carried out the attack after researching how to build a bomb a year ago and planned his mission for several weeks.
Investigators revealed that the bomb was assembled in the past week using fragments of a metal pipe, a battery and a Christmas tree light bulb, along with metal screws as shrapnel.
Authorities said the bomb was strapped to his body with wires and zip ties.
Kim added that the defendant “had apparently hoped to die in his own misguided rage, taking as many innocent people as he could with him, but through incredible good fortune, his bomb did not seriously injure anyone other than himself.”
On Tuesday, Ullah was charged with providing material support to a terrorist group, use of a weapon of mass destruction and three bomb-related counts and could get up to life in prison.
Responding to the bombing, U.S. President Donald Trump demanded a tightening of immigration rules.
Trump’s call came after investigators revealed that Ullah entered the country in 2011 on a visa available to certain relatives of U.S. citizens.
Ullah had reportedly been living with his father, mother and brother in a Brooklyn neighborhood with a large Bangladeshi community.
He was licensed to drive a cab from 2012 to 2015, but the license was allowed to lapse.
According to John Miller, the New York Police Department's deputy commissioner for counterterrorism,
Ullah "was living here, went through number of jobs, was not particularly struggling financially or had any known pressures.”
Miller added that Ullah "was not on our radar at NYPD, not on the FBI radar."
Merely two months back, an Uzbek immigrant who came to the U.S. through a visa lottery was accused of killing eight people in New York by mowing them down with a truck along a bike path.
Speaking at the White House then, Trump said, “We're going to end both of them - the lottery system and chain migration. We're going to end them fast.”
Meanwhile, reports noted that in Bangladesh, counterterrorism officers questioned Ullah's wife and other relatives.
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