NYC Port Authority bombing ‘an attempted terror attack’

Officials say one man is in custody and three people suffered minor injuries after an explosion in central Manhattan.

At least one man is in custody after an explosion at a main transit station in central Manhattan in what New York City officials have called “an attempt terrorist attack”. 

An NYPD spokesman told Al Jazeera that the explosion occurred early on Monday morning in the area of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, near 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, which is also close to Times Square. 

According to officials at least four people, including the suspect, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. 

The suspect, named by police as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, “intentionally detonated” an improvised low-tech explosive device that he was wearing, officials told reporters.  

They added that the “device was based on a pipe-bomb and affixed to his [the suspect’s] person with a combination of zip-ties and velcro”. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters that “this was an attempted terrorist attack”.  

He added that there are “no additional known incidents at this time” and “there are no additional known activities”. 

“We we will wait for a fuller investigation … but at this time we only know of one individual … who was unsuccessful in his aims”. 

Major transit hub

The New York Transit Authority had previously shut down parts of the transit system while they conducted security measures, but officials said the system is expected to be back to normal later in the day. 

Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey, reporting from the scene, said the attack took place in a “very busy area”. 

“This is a major hub in Manhattan, almost every major subway goes through or near here, and it was in the subway tunnels that the suspect set off this explosive device,” she said. 

New York City police officers take security measures after an explosion in Manhattan [Ertugrul Cingil/Anadolu]
New York City police officers take security measures after an explosion in Manhattan [Ertugrul Cingil/Anadolu]

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters that “this is New York and the reality is we are a target of those who would like to make a statement against democracy and freedom.” 

Police did not comment on the suspect’s motive and said it would be conducting a full investigation into the explosion, which was also caught on CCTV. 

Source: Al Jazeera