Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi living in Brooklyn, New York on a family visa, tried to blow himself up because he was angry that Americans are celebrating Christmas. It was the first attempted suicide bombing in New York City. Fortunately, for commuters in this busy subway hub, he failed.
Ullah worked at a construction site nearby as an electrician. He researched how to build a bomb online for over one year. Yet despite this, he couldn’t follow the instructions properly, or didn’t know how to, and the bomb didn’t detonate correctly and only injured his torso.
Apparently, Ullah wasn’t very smart, or resourceful. He didn’t have a pipe, so he stole one from the construction site where he worked. He used Christmas tree lights and screws. (Why Christmas tree lights and where did he get them?) Combining them with a chemical component he strapped the pipe to his abdomen with Velcro and cable ties, but the pipe didn’t detonate correctly.
BREAKING VIDEO: Moment of explosion at 42nd St and 8th Avenue in Manhattan pic.twitter.com/JwygdnnwNb
— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) December 11, 2017
According to CCTV footage, Ullah was seen walking among commuters, wearing beige cargo pants and a hoodie, and then a loud bang was heard and smoke was visible surrounding him as he laid on the ground in fetal position.
Ullah was charged by New York officials on several terrorist-related counts, including making a terrorist threat, supporting an act of terrorism, and criminal possession of a weapon. Federal charges included providing material support to a terrorist organization, using a weapon of mass destruction, and bombing a public place.
The complaint stated that Ullah “… did it for the Islamic State. He also posted a statement that he believed would be understood by members and supporters of ISIS to convey that Ullah carried out the attack in the name of ISIS.” He began reading ISIS propaganda online in 2014 and research how to make a bomb over a period of a year. But the catalyst for building the bomb was Christmas.