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UPDATE: Manhattan Subway Blast Suspect’s Family Heartbroken, Saddened By Attack

NYPD Commissioner says pipe bomb explosion was terror-related, 4 injured including the alleged perpetrator

A man inspired by Islamic State extremists strapped on a crude pipe bomb, slipped unnoticed into the nation’s busiest subway system and set the device off at rush hour Monday in a scenario that New York has dreaded for years, authorities said.

THE LATEST on the explosion in Manhattan in an underground passageway (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

The family of a man accused of setting off a pipe bomb in a crowded New York City subway corridor says it’s heartbroken and deeply saddened by the suffering the attack has caused.

In a statement, Akayed Ullah’s family also says it’s outraged by the way it was targeted by law enforcement, including pulling a teenage relative from class and questioning him without a parent, guardian or attorney present. The family says it expects more from the justice system.

The statement was released on behalf of the family by Albert Fox Cahn, legal director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in New York.

Ullah, an immigrant from Bangladesh, was the only person seriously injured in the blast during the Monday morning rush hour that sent commuters scurrying in panic.

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6:15 p.m.

Law enforcement officials say a pipe bomb that exploded in a crowded New York City subway passageway was ignited with a Christmas light, matches and a nine-volt battery.

The officials say the short pipe was packed with explosive powder but didn’t work as intended. The blast wasn’t powerful enough to turn the pipe into deadly shrapnel.

Authorities have identified the attacker as Akayed Ullah, an immigrant from Bangladesh.

Law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation say he had looked at Islamic State group propaganda online and told investigators he was retaliating against U.S. military aggression.

The blast during the Monday morning rush hour injured three people besides Ullah, who’s being treated at a hospital.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the blast.

—By Colleen Long and Tom Hays.

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5:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump says a bomb blast in Manhattan highlights the need for an immigration overhaul.

Trump said Monday that the U.S. “must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people” into the country.

The Republican president points to his controversial travel ban as an example of the kind of policy that needs to be put in place. And he’s calling on Congress to end “chain migration,” in which family members are permitted to join relatives who have immigrated.

He also says people convicted of terror acts “deserve the strongest penalty allowed by law, including the death penalty in appropriate cases.”

The only person seriously wounded Monday was the suspected bomber.

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4:45 p.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says a pipe bomb explosion in New York City’s subway system and an earlier attack in Manhattan highlight the nation’s “failed immigration policies.”

Sessions says the Monday blast shows the need for immigration reform. Authorities say a man who came to the U.S. from Bangladesh seven years ago set off a pipe bomb strapped to his body in a subway corridor near Times Square. He was injured along with three others.

Sessions says relatives of U.S. citizens shouldn’t get priority ahead of “someone who is high-skilled, well educated, has learned English, and is likely to assimilate and flourish here.”

He says a merit-based immigration system would be safer.

His comments are similar to those made by a White House spokeswoman.

 

Sessions’ statement on the attempted terrorist attack in New York City:

“The President is exactly correct about the changes we need to our immigration system. We have now seen two terrorist attacks in New York City in less than two months that were carried out by people who came here as the result of our failed immigration policies that do not serve the national interest—the diversity lottery and chain migration. The 20-year-old son of the sister of a U.S. citizen should not get priority to come to this country ahead of someone who is high-skilled, well educated, has learned English, and is likely to assimilate and flourish here,” Sessions said in the statement. 

“It is a failure of logic and sound policy not to adopt a merit-based immigration system. The President has asked Congress to work with him on ending the diversity lottery and chain migration. He has proposed switching to a merit-based system of immigration similar to the Canadian and Australian systems. That means welcoming the best and the brightest and turning away not only terrorists but gang members, fraudsters, drunk drivers, and child abusers. Such a merit-based system would make us safer and welcome individuals who would be best able to assimilate and flourish in our country.”

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3 p.m.

A White House spokeswoman says a pipe bomb explosion in New York City’s subway system shows the need for “immigration reform.”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that Congress should work with the president, stressing the need to “protect our borders” and calling for a “merit-based” immigration system.

Authorities say a man inspired by the Islamic State group set off a pipe bomb strapped to his body in a subway corridor near Times Square, injuring himself and wounding three others.

Law enforcement officials say the man came to the U.S. from Bangladesh seven years ago with a type of preferential visa for people with relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

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2:15 p.m.

The suspect in a pipe bomb explosion in New York City’s subway system at one point had a license to drive livery cars and for-hire vehicles.

Authorities have identified the attacker as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah. The blast in an underground subway corridor during the Monday morning rush hour injured three people, as well as Ullah.

New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission says records show he had a for-hire license from March 2012 through March 2015. It then expired and wasn’t renewed. At the time, a for-hire license did not allow someone to drive one of the city’s yellow taxis.

The TLC says there are no records to indicate if he actually used the license to work as a car driver.

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1:45 p.m.

New York’s governor says the suspect in a pipe bomb blast in New York City’s subway system may have crafted the device from online instructions, and so far it doesn’t appear to be part of a larger plot.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told cable news channel NY1 that officials “have reason to believe that this person went to the internet and found out how to make a homemade bomb.”

Authorities identified the attacker as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah. Monday’s explosion injured him, slightly wounded three other people and sent commuters fleeing in terror through a subway corridor near Times Square.

Cuomo says he’s boosting security at high-profile spots statewide. The Democrat also suggests internet companies need to look at the access potential attackers have to what he calls “garbage and vileness” online.

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1:10 p.m.

Law enforcement is stepping up patrols at Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority train stations after a pipe bomb went off in a crowded subway corridor in New York City.

Boston police say that while there doesn’t appear to be a specific threat to the area at this time, police are increasing their presence at major MBTA train stations.

MBTA Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan says he contacted the Joint Terrorism Task Force and state and local law enforcement agencies in the wake of the Monday explosion.

Sullivan says additional EDU teams— bomb detecting dogs and their handlers —will be deployed through the system.

The crude pipe bomb strapped to a man went off in an underground passageway in the Times Square area during the morning rush hour.

Massachusetts State Police are monitoring the investigation

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12:40 p.m.

Law enforcement officials say the 27-year-old man who set off a pipe bomb in the New York City subway came to the U.S. from Bangladesh seven years ago with a type of preferential visa for people with relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The officials say Akayed Ullah was living in Brooklyn. They say he told investigators Monday he was inspired by the Islamic State group to carry out an attack, but had no direct contact with the terror group. They say he is speaking with investigators from his hospital bed. The suspect had burns on his abdomen and also to his hands

Officials say he assembled the crude device in his apartment. Investigators are talking to witnesses and his family.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the blast.

Bangladesh has been expanding its anti-terror operations after grisly attacks killed dozens of people.

Three others suffered minor injuries in the blast.

—By Colleen Long and Michael Balsamo.

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Noon

The mayor of Paris is expressing support for New York City and those wounded in a pipe bomb explosion in an underground passageway in the Times Square area.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Monday that “New York has been by our side each time we have been hit by attacks and threats, and Paris is also by the side of New York.”

Hidalgo, whose city has been hit by multiple attacks in recent years, said she was thinking of New York Mayor Bill De Blasio after Monday’s blast.

Speaking ahead of an international climate summit, she said “when something like that happens in one of our cities, we are all on alert.”

A crude pipe bomb strapped to a man inspired by the Islamic State Group went off in a crowded subway corridor, injuring the man and three others.

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11:55 a.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he has ordered extra security at mass transit hubs in his state following the pipe bomb explosion in a passageway near Times Square in Manhattan.

New Jersey Transit buses have resumed normal service Monday into New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal.

New York City also has reopened its subways amid heightened city-wide security after a man with a pipe bomb strapped to him caused an explosion in an underground passageway in the Times Square area during the morning rush hour.

Law enforcement officials tell The Associated Press that Akayed Ullah was inspired by the Islamic State Group, but apparently had no direct contact with the terrorist group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the suspect or incident.

The suspect had burns on his abdomen and also to his hands. Three others suffered minor injuries, including headaches and ringing in the ears.

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10:20 a.m.

New York City has reopened its subways amid heightened city-wide security after a man with a pipe bomb strapped to him caused an explosion in an underground passageway in the Times Square area during the morning rush hour.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota (LOH’-tuh) says trains on the Seventh and Eighth avenue lines were still bypassing the Times Square corridor as the investigation proceeded Monday morning. But he says overall service is back to normal.

Law enforcement officials tell The Associated Press that Akayed Ullah was inspired by the Islamic State Group, but apparently had no direct contact with the terrorist group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the suspect or incident.

Police say he attached the device to his body with Velcro and zip ties.

9:45 a.m.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill says the device that exploded in the New York City subway was a terror-related incident.

A 27-year-old man had a crude pipe bomb strapped to him and it went off in a passageway from Seventh and Eighth Avenues near Times Square.

Three people suffered minor non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect was also injured and was taken into custody.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the device that exploded in the New York City subway was an attempted terrorist attack. He says it’s lucky the suspect didn’t achieve his ultimate goals.

Law enforcement officials say he was inspired by the Islamic State, but had apparently not had any direct contact with the terror group.

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9:40 a.m.

A photo published by the New York Post from the scene of the Manhattan subway explosion shows a bearded man crumpled on the ground with his shirt apparently blown off and a police officer holding the man’s hands behind his back.

Soot covers the man’s bare midriff.

The Fire Department of New York says four people, including the suspect, have been hurt following the pipe bomb explosion at the height of the morning rush hour Monday.

None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that a man had a pipe bomb strapped to him when it went off. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the incident.

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One person is in custody, according to two NYPD sources, after what appears to be some type of pipe bomb explosion in New York City. December 11, 2017

9:30 a.m.

The Fire Department of New York says four people, including the suspect, have been hurt following a pipe bomb explosion in a New York City subway at the height of the morning rush hour.

Fire officials say Monday none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

Police say the pipe bomb explosion inside the subway happened in an underground passageway between Seventh and Eighth Avenues on 42nd Street.

A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that a man had a pipe bomb strapped to him when it went off. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the incident.

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9:15 a.m.

Police say the pipe bomb explosion inside the New York City subway happened in an underground passageway between Seventh and Eighth Avenues on 42nd Street.

The explosion filled the passageway with smoke while it was crowded with throngs of Monday morning commuters.

A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that a man had a pipe bomb strapped to him when it went off. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the incident.

The person was arrested and has non-life-threatening injuries. Another person on the platform sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The Port Authority Bus Terminal, the nation’s largest bus hub, was shut down, along with the eight subway lines and all streets around Times Square.

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8:45 a.m.

A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that a man had a pipe bomb strapped to him when it went off on a New York City subway platform.

The explosion happened around 7:30 a.m. Monday. Details were still developing.

The person was arrested and has non-life-threatening injuries. Another person on the platform sustained non-life-threatening injuries

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the incident.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has tweeted that President Trump has been briefed on the explosion.

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8:40 a.m.

New Jersey Transit buses headed to the Port Authority Bus Terminal are diverting to other locations following an explosion in New York City.

NJ Transit says buses are taking passengers to Secaucus and Hoboken. From there, they can take trains or PATH into the city.

Trains, PATH, light rail and ferries are honoring bus tickets into New York.

The explosion happened around 7:30 a.m. Monday. Details were still developing.

Passengers were evacuated as a precaution from the subway line where the explosion happened, near 40th Street and Eighth Avenue.

A person was arrested and has non-life-threatening injuries.

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8:25 a.m.

A law enforcement official says what is believed to be an explosive device has been set off on Manhattan subway platform.

The explosion happened around 7:30 a.m. Monday. Details were still developing.

A person was arrested and has non-life-threatening injuries.

There was no immediate word of any other injuries.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the incident.

Passengers were evacuated as a precaution from the subway line where the explosion happened, near 40th Street and Eighth Avenue.

— Associated Press writer Colleen Long

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8 a.m.

The New York Police Department says it is responding to a report of an explosion near Times Square.

The response is centered in the area of the Port Authority bus terminal.

It’s led to delays along some of the subway lines that pass beneath the bus terminal.

Some passengers have been evacuated as a precaution.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

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