The explosion that occurred on Monday morning near Times Square in New York was “an attempted terrorist attack”, said the mayor of New York during a press briefing. A man set off a homemade bomb in a transfer tunnel near Times Square injuring three people. The explosion was triggered by a 27-year-old man, identified as Akayed Ullah, who carried over his body “a rudimentary explosive device”, said Police Chief James O’Neill.
A man who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group
The suspect was immediately arrested, with “injuries and burns to the body”. This is an Uzbek who admitted to having pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. Three people in the immediate vicinity were also injured, although “none are in danger of death” according to New York firefighters.
The explosion occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. PST), in a tunnel connecting the major transportation hubs of Times Square and the Port Authority bus station near 42nd Street and 8th Avenue. The bus station was quickly evacuated, the area cordoned off, and several metro lines that pass through the area were either immediately stopped or no longer stopped.
“We don’t live in fear”
During the press briefing, the police chief said: “This is New York, we don’t live in fear. But if you see something suspicious you have to come and meet us to let us know.”
President Donald Trump was immediately informed, the White House said. The incident comes ahead of the holiday season, which draws hundreds of thousands of tourists to the most populous city in the United States.
Monday’s attack comes less than six weeks after a fatal attack on the tip of Manhattan on October 31: on Halloween, a ram truck attack left eight dead and twelve injured in the southern tip of Manhattan, constituting the first fatal attack in New York since the attacks of September 11, 2001.