UPDATED with news conference details: This morning’s Times Square bomb explosion has been declared an “attempted terrorist attack” by authorities, and the suspect identified.
Twenty-seven-year-old Akayed Ullah was wearing a “low-tech” device, strapped to his person with velcro and zip ties. He was the most seriously hurt of four injured, with burns and lacerations, when the bomb detonated in an underground passageway between two subway lines, under Port Authority Bus Terminal, at 42nd St. and Eighth Avenue. Authorities say he claims he made the incendiary device at his place of work.
“This was an attempted terrorism attack,” NYC Major Bill De Blasio said at a morning presser, held outside the bus terminal. “Thank god the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goal, and thank god first responders were there so quickly to address the situation. Thank god the only injuries we know of at this point were minor.”
The suspect did make a statement of allegiance, authorities confirmed when asked directly if he has declared allegiance to ISIS, but they would not elaborate. There is no other known terror-related activity reported in or around NYC, authories said. Nonetheless, De Blasio said, authorities have secured all major transit hubs and destinations in the area, adding, “New Yorkers have come to understand when they see those long guns and highly trained officers that is something that should be reassuring to you.”
Three additional injuries were reported but are not life threatening; including ear ringing and severe headache, NY Police Commissioner James O’Neill Jr. told reporters.
“Let’s go back to work,” NY’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo told New Yorkers via the presser. “We’re not going to allow this to disrupt us; that is exactly what they want, and exactly what they’re not going to get.”
About a month and a half earlier, the three men held a presser to answer questions about the terror-related attack in Lower Manhattan. Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbekistan national allegedly rented a truck and deliberately drove it down a major West Side bike path for about 20 blocks, killing at least eight people and injuring more than a dozen. De Blasio similarly called that an act of terror, making it the first to claim lives in New York City since September 11, 2001.
Previous: NYFD now reporting four people have been injured in the rush-hour explosion under Port Authority Bus Terminal, at 42nd St. and Eighth Avenue; that includes the suspect, who survived the premature suicide blast, is one of the four. None of the injuries is life threatening. A news conference is expected to begin soon.
Previous: New York City’s Times Square became a top morning headline when an explosive device detonated under the Port Authority Bus Terminal, at 42nd St. and Eighth Ave., around 7:25 AM. No deaths are reported. One man is in custody; FDNY reported he has a non-life-threatening injury and is believed to have been wearing a home-made suicide vest that went off prematurely. Authorities have gone to his residence to conduct a search, CNN reported. The suspect, originally from Bangladesh, has been in the United States for seven years and has an address in Brooklyn, ABC News reported.
The explosion happened in an underground passage between two subway lines. Port Authority Bus Terminal was evacuated; the A, C and E line were evacuated as police launched a massive search. Authorities initially reported the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, N, Q, R, W and 7 trains are bypassing the 42 St. station, Fox News reported. The Port Authority Bus Terminal also was evacuated. And 8th Avenue is shut down in the Times Square area.
Hundreds of commuters still were stuck in the area around 9 AM, cordoned off into “frozen zones” set up by police along Eighth Avenue.
Port Authority Bus Terminal is open, the authority reported, though the Eighth Ave. entrance is shut.
More to come….