Midtown, Manhattan- At about 7:20 AM today, 27- year-old Akayed Ullah denoted a pipe bomb in the underground walkway that connects the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the 7th Ave Shuttle stop.
After arriving on the scene, police found Ullah lying in the tunnel with burns and wounds to his body. He was placed under arrest and then taken to Bellevue Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Three people immediately around Mr. Ullah when he detonated the bomb received minor injuries. Each victim transported themselves to the hospital. Two went to Mount Sinai West and one to Mt. Sinai Queens.
Speaking at a press conference later in the morning, Governor Cuomo said that today’s incident “turned out better than our initial expectations and fears.”
Authorities called the bomb a “low tech device,” and suggested had it been effective, people around the bomber would have been more severely injured.
John Miller, deputy NYPD commissioner of intelligence and counterterror, said that Mr. Ullah attached the pipe bomb to himself with velcro and zip ties.
Police did not elaborate on how the device was made or detonated.
Governor Cuomo suggested that there are materials on the internet that would allow “anyone to make an amateur explosive device,” however he did not say if this is how police believe Mr. Ullah made his.
Transit security video shows Mr. Ullah walking through the underground walkway surrounded by people. Suddenly, a cloud of smoke appears and Mr. Ullah falls to the ground. People walking near him run away and leave the alleged bomber lying on the ground.
Today’s incident came less than two months after the Tribeca Attack on Halloween that killed 8 people.
When Miller was asked if he believes there has been a spike in terrorism, he stated that the current threat level in NYC is the same as it has always been.
According to Miller, since the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD foiled at least 26 terror plots.
Governor Cuomo urged everyone to notify authorities immediately if they see anything odd or suspicious as they go about their days. “It is so important to speak up,” he said.
Authorities stated that Mr. Ullah came to the United States in 2011 with a visa. At some point after that, he became a permanent resident with a green card.
A New York Drivers License that reportedly belongs to Mr. Ullah shows he lives in Flatlands, Brooklyn.
The Joint Counterterrorism Task Force, comprised of city and federal law enforcement officials, is leading the investigation of today’s incident.
Right now, it is unclear what charges authorities will bring against Mr. Ullah.
This is a developing story.
Reporting, photos and video by Brendan Walsh