NYC subway terrorist convicted

Manhattan court convicts Bangladeshi immigrant who set off a pipe bomb in New York City's busiest subway station at rush hour last December.

Elad Benari,

Scene of 2017 Manhattan bombing
Scene of 2017 Manhattan bombing
Reuters

A Manhattan court on Tuesday convicted a Bangladeshi immigrant of terrorism charges after setting off a pipe bomb in New York City's busiest subway station at rush hour last December 11, reports The Associated Press.

The terrorist, Akayed Ullah, told the trial judge after he was convicted that he was angry at US President Donald Trump and didn't carry out the attack for the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

Ullah detonated a crude pipe bomb packed with screws in a subway passageway near Port Authority Bus Terminal during morning rush hour.

The crude explosive device, allegedly constructed with instructions found on the internet, was fashioned from a pipe, a 9-volt battery and Christmas lights.

Ullah was the only person seriously injured in the incident.

After the verdict was announced and the jury left the room, Ullah spoke out, telling the judge, "I was angry with Donald Trump because he says he will bomb the Middle East and then he will protect his nation."

Judge Richard Sullivan told him, according to AP, "Right now is not the time for a statement."

Sentencing is scheduled for April 5, when Ullah faces a mandatory 30-year prison sentence and could be sent to prison for life.

Before the blast, Ullah posted two messages to his Facebook page, one that referenced the Islamic State (ISIS) and another that taunted Trump. However, Ullah repeatedly told the judge he did not carry out the attack for ISIS group.

Prosecutors said he wanted to maim or kill commuters as part of a "lone wolf" terrorist attack on behalf of ISIS. They disputed the defense claim, saying Ullah would not have worn a bomb had he wanted to kill only himself. They also cited social media postings by Ullah, as well as comments he made after his arrest to investigators.

At trial, Ullah was confronted with his post-arrest statements and his social media comments, such as when he taunted Trump on Facebook before the attack, noted AP.

Authorities said Ullah's radicalization began in 2014 when he started viewing materials online, including a video instructing ISIS supporters to carry out attacks in their homelands.

The prosecutor said Ullah, 28, of Brooklyn, followed ISIS propaganda online and wanted to follow its instructions to carry out a "lone wolf" terror attack on Americans.

One law enforcement source said after the attack that Ullah told investigators he was upset with an unspecified “incursion into Gaza”, leading him to carry out the attack.

Other reports said he told investigators that he set off the bomb in retaliation for US airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria and elsewhere, while others cited law enforcement officials as saying he did it in the name of ISIS to avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world.




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