A would-be suicide bomber whose pipe bomb misfired in a NYC subway station in 2017 has been sentenced to life in prison

Kelly McLaughlin,Madison Hall
·2 min read
Times Square Subway
Spencer Platt, Getty
  • Akayed Ullah, who set off a bomb in New York City in 2017, has been sentenced to life in prison.

  • Ullah set off the bomb in the name of the Islamic State and had meant for it to be a suicide attack.

  • The bomb malfunctioned, and no one died in the December 2017 attack.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Akayed Ullah, the man who set off a pipe bomb in a busy New York City commuter hub in the name of the Islamic State in 2017, has been sentenced to life in prison, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The bomb was set off in an underground tunnel connecting Times Square to Port Authority in December 2017.

The bomb malfunctioned and no one died in the attack, but a pedestrian was seriously injured and two bystanders partially lost their hearing.

Ullah, an immigrant from Bangladesh, was living in Brooklyn at the time of the incident. The Department of Justice said in 2018 that Ullah became radicalized online, reading pro-ISIS propaganda and watching videos about the extremist group. He began researching how to build IEDs about a year before the attack, the DOJ said.

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The government's sentencing memorandum explained that Ullah obtained the materials to make the makeshift bomb from a construction site where he worked as an electrician. Prosecutors revealed that he chose the 42nd Street subway station for his attack because of a television news segment he had seen where a commuter said that they were not afraid of an ISIS threat to attack Times Square.

The 42nd Street station is the "single busiest station in terms of passenger volume," court filings said. It noted that the Port Authority Bus Terminal is also located directly above the subway station and assists 260,000 passengers every day.

Investigators said Ullah posted a statement to his personal Facebook page shortly before the bombing saying that "Trump, you failed to protect your nation."

Ullah waived his Miranda rights while in custody and told investigators that he filled the bomb with screws for "maximum damage." Guards reported that Ullah chanted "more is coming" at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and warned of more violence from ISIS.

Ullah told the judge during the trial that his attack occurred "while in the grip of a personal crisis that left him isolated, depressed, vulnerable and suicidal," but prosecutors refuted his argument and said he never met with any mental health professionals and was never diagnosed with any mental health conditions.

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