NEW YORK — An immigrant from Bangladesh arrested on charges ofin an attempted suicide attack has been charged in federal court.
Akayed Ullah was expected to appear before a magistrate judge after a criminal complaint was made public Tuesday. The signed complaint in Manhattan federal court says Ullah told authorities he “did it for the Islamic State” and that he had viewed pro-ISIS materials online.
According to the complaint, Ullah posted on his Facebook account on his way to carry out the attack: “Trump you failed to protect your nation.” Ullah told authorities he carried out the attack in part because of the U.S. government’s policies in the Middle East.
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Federal authorities charged him in Monday’s failed suicide bombing with providing material support to terrorists and using weapons of mass destruction. It left Ullah with burns to his body and hands and three pedestrians with harmed hearing and headaches.
Authorities say he set off a bomb in an underground passageway near Times Square. The complaint says Ullah spoke to authorities from his hospital bed after waiving his Miranda rights, saying he assembled the pipe bomb at a Brooklyn apartment about a week before the attack and filled it with metal screws “which he believed would cause maximum damage.”
The complaint says he chose to carry out the attack on a weekday because “he believed that there would be more people.”
“One of Ullah’s goals in carrying out the December 11 attack was to terrorize as many people as possible,” the complaint says.
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John Miller, the deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism for the NYPD, said it’s getting harder to stop “lone wolf” attacks. He said Ullah wasn’t on the NYPD’s or the FBI’s radar before Monday’s incident.
“I think what we saw yesterday is something that could have been far, far worse,” he said.
His family was “deeply saddened” by the attack but also “outraged by the way we have been targeted by law enforcement,” the family said in a statement sent by the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. A teenage relative was pulled out of class and questioned in school without a parent, guardian or lawyer, the statement said.
It was not immediately clear who would represent Ullah in court.
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