The man accused of detonating a homemade explosive near New York City's Port Authority yesterday wasn't cagey about his feelings regarding President Trump on Facebook. Earlier the same day Akayed Ullah wrote, "Trump you failed to protect your nation," on the popular social media platform. Investigators have also recovered a passport in Ullah's name with a handwritten note that reads, "O America, die in your rage."
Ullah is facing three state and five federal terrorism-related charges for his actions, which left him severely injured. Five other people at the scene were treated for minor injuries. Ullah says his attack was prompted by Israeli activity in Gaza. According to one law enforcement official, Ullah had already pledged allegiance to ISIS. In an interview with investigators, Ullah said, “I did it for the Islamic State,” adding he was inspired by the terror group’s Christmas propaganda. The federal complaint against Ullah contends he began his radicalization in 2014 and began researching homemade explosives about a year ago.
According to Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton, the 27-year-old Bangladeshi native has been lawfully residing in the United States since 2011 on a F42 family immigrant visa. Ullah held a Taxi & Limousine Commission license from March 2012 to March 2015, but a TLC spokesman says it’s unclear as to whether he actually drove on any particular basis. Ullah has no criminal record in the U.S. or Bangladesh, the latter confirmed by a Bangladeshi police spokeswoman.
The device Ullah used has been described as a pipe bomb, which he made in his apartment in Brooklyn out of a battery, wires, metal screws and a Christmas tree light bulb. The damage could have been much worse, as the “low-tech device,” as Governor Cuomo called it, only partially detonated. It was also only one of two bombs Ullah had on his person at the time of the incident, although the second bomb failed to detonate altogether. Investigators have not offered any further information about the second device. Ullah is currently being held at Bellvue hospital, where he is being treated for his injuries.