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2018-01-18 / Other News

Indictment Returned In Subway Bomber Case

By D. Rybstein

Photo courtesy of NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission The Justice Department announced that a grand jury handed down a six-count indictment against Akayed Ullah in connection with Ullah’s alleged detonation of a bomb in a subway passenger walkway last month (see “Flatlands Resident Sets Off Bomb In Terror Attack,” Canarsie Courier, December 14, 2017, pg. 3).

The incident, which took place on December 11th, sent Ullah to a hospital with third-degree burns and snarled straphangers’ morning commute. A security camera in the passageway recorded the explosion and the ensuing panic, sending commuters fleeing in all directions. Ullah was arrested two days later in his hospital bed. Ullah can be seen in the video falling to the ground right after the bomb exploded.

The indictment charges Ullah with providing and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS”), using and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, bombing and attempting to bomb a place of public use and a public transportation system, destruction and attempted destruction of property by means of fire or explosives, conducting and attempting to conduct a terrorist attack against a mass transportation system and using a destructive device during and in furtherance of a crime of violence.

In a prepared statement, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said: “In selecting this time and place, Ullah’s alleged purpose in the bombing was painfully clear: to inflict as much damage as possible and to strike fear into the hearts of New Yorkers in the name of ISIS. Ullah’s alleged plot failed, and he is now charged with federal terrorism offenses.”

Ullah’s homemade bomb made use of metal pipe, zip ties and electrical wire. These materials were found next to an injured Ullah at the scene of the explosion and also by investigators in his home acting on a search warrant. They found pieces of metal pipe, pieces of wire and fragments of what appeared to be Christmas tree lights, multiple screws consistent with screws recovered at the scene of the explosion and a passport in Ullah’s name scrawled with: “O AMERICA, DIE IN YOUR RAGE.” Ullah lived with his family on East 48th Street, just north of Avenue N.

The statement goes on to quote Ullah, allegedly telling responders after the attack, “I did it for the Islamic State.” Ullah has been in federal custody since his arrest. He is facing life imprisonment if convicted.

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