Police have a suspect in custody after a homemade pipe bomb exploded at a New York City transit hub in midtown Manhattan Monday morning.
Police say a man intentionally detonated a “low-tech explosive device attached to his body,” injuring three people.
He was taken to hospital in custody and is being treated for his injuries, which include burns on his arms and abdomen.
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The suspect was identified as Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi national who was living in Brooklyn. He was reportedly living in the same apartment building as his family.
Neighbours told a man who owns the building next to Ullah’s home they heard fighting and yelling over the past two nights, CNN reports.
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He was originally from the southeastern Bangladeshi district of Chittagong, according to Bangladeshi Police.
Residents in Brooklyn described him as a “solitary” man but say they didn’t ever expect him to do anything like this.
Ullah had previously held a licence for New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. Records show the licence was valid from March 2012 to March 2015 but wasn’t renewed beyond that. There were no records to show if he actually worked as a taxi driver.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday afternoon that Ullah entered the U.S. on a preferential visa for people with relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents visa in 2011.
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Bangladeshi officials told Reuters Ullah had last travelled to his home country in September and had no criminal record, based on his passport number.
No direct affiliation with Islamic State
While officials are investigating the explosion as a terrorist attack, officials say Ullah had no direct affiliation with the so-called Islamic State.
But he told investigators he was inspired by ISIS to carry out the attempted terror attack.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told cable news channel NY1 that officials “have reason to believe that this person went to the internet and found out how to make a homemade bomb.” He said the bomb ignited but didn’t explode.
Police have searched his house in Brooklyn and are talking to his family and friends.
*with a file from the Associated Press