The New York Police Department (NYPD) has confirmed that the Monday morning explosion near Times Square was terror-related. It has identified the suspect as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill called the blast a “terror-related incident” during a news conference. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also referred to the incident as an “attempted terrorist attack.”
“Let’s be clear – this was an attempted terrorist attack. Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals. Our first responders were there quickly and the only injuries we know of right now are minor,” De Blasio tweeted following the attack.
“We are a target because we prove a society of many faiths and many backgrounds can work – we show democracy can work. But we are the most resilient place on earth. We’ve proved it time and time again,” he continued.
We are a target because we prove a society of many faiths and many backgrounds can work – we show democracy can work. But we are the most resilient place on earth. We’ve proved it time and time again.
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 11, 2017
When asked whether the suspect had ties to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), O’Neill said “he did make statements” but refused to elaborate.
The blast occurred at the Port Authority bus terminal. The suspect sustained non-life threatening injuries during the explosion. He was also in possession of a second device, which did not detonate.
The explosion occurred in an underground passageway at the Port Authority, under 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, during the morning rush hour.
The NYPD, FBI and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force are currently investigating the attack, according to NBC News.