The Bangladeshi-origin man accused of constructing a pipe bomb and admitting he was inspired by ISIS to carry out the Dec. 11, 2017, attack in New York City, was convicted Nov. 6.
Akayed Ullah, who detonated the bomb during the bustle of morning rush hour under the Port Authority Bus Terminal, was convicted unanimously by a jury of New Yorkers.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a statement released today, said Ullah’s “sinister purpose was to harm and terrorize as many innocent people in his path as possible, by using deadly violence to make a political statement.”
His conviction, falling on Election Day, Berman added, “fittingly underscores the core principles of American democracy and spirit: Americans engage in the political process through votes, not violence. Today, Ullah stands convicted, he faces a potential life sentence, and his purpose failed. New York City remains a shining symbol of freedom and hope.”
Ullah was indicted on Jan. 10 this year, with one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic Stte of Iraq and al-Sham, one count of using and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, one count of bombing and attempting to bomb a place of public use and a public transportation system, one count of destruction and attempted destruction of property by means of fire or explosives, one count of conducting and attempting to conduct a terrorist attack against a mass transportation system, and one count of using a destructive device during and in furtherance of a crime of violence.
On December 11, 2017, at approximately 7:20 a.m., Ullah detonated an improvised explosive device (“IED”) inside a subway terminal. Shortly after the blast, members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department found Ullah lying on the ground near the explosion. Surveillance footage captured Ullah walking through the subway terminal immediately prior to the explosion, and then falling to the ground after the explosion.
The components of an exploded pipe bomb were found on Ullah and in his surroundings. After Ullah was taken into custody, he was transferred to Bellevue Hospital, where he made statements to law enforcement officers after waiving his Miranda rights.
During that interview, Ullah admitted to making the pipe bomb and carrying out the attack, saying, “I did it for the Islamic State.” He made the pipe bomb at his home in Brooklyn, filling the pipe bomb with metal screws, which he believed would cause maximum damage.
According to the indictment, Ullah’s radicalization began in at least approximately 2014. He viewed pro-ISIS materials online, including a video instructing, in substance, that if supporters of ISIS were unable to travel overseas to join ISIS, they should carry out attacks in their homelands. He began researching how to build IEDs on the Internet approximately one year prior to the attack.