A man accused of setting off a bomb in a subway corridor near Times Square in New York City told investigators that he was acting in support of the Islamic State group (ISIS), according to court documents released on Tuesday.
Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh, is accused of setting off a pipe bomb in a corridor near a subway station underneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal, causing minor injuries to three people. Ullah himself suffered serious injuries in Monday’s attack.
Investigators believe Ullah carried out the attack in part because of the U.S. government’s policies in, among other places, the Middle East, according to court documents. “I did it for the Islamic State,” he told police during an interview while being treated at a hospital.
On the morning of the attack, as he made his way to the subway station, Ullah is also believed to have posted a message on his Facebook account, stating: “Trump you failed to protect your nation.” The message also included a statement to reflect his support for ISIS, investigators said.
Ullah’s radicalization is believed to have begun around 2014, about three years after he moved to the United States. He began researching how to build bombs about a year ago and viewed pro-ISIS material, including a video which encouraged supporters to carry out attacks in their homelands if they were unable to join ISIS overseas.
“One of Ullah’s goals in carrying out the December 11 attack was to terrorize as many people as possible,” an FBI agent said in court documents. “He chose to carry out the attack on a workday because he believed that there would be more people.”
Ullah began compiling materials for the pipe bomb in late November and put the device together at his apartment in Brooklyn about a week prior to the attack, the FBI agent said.
Federal prosecutors have charged Ullah with Provision of Material Support and Resources to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Bombing a Place of Public Use, Destruction of Property by Means of Fire or Explosive, and Use of a Destructive Device During and in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence.
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