Port Authority Explosion: Who Is Akayed Ullah?

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    Akayed Ullah
    Akayed Ullah

    The suspect in the explosion near Port Authority terminal in midtown Manhattan is a 27-year-old Bangladeshi ex-cabbie who lives in Brooklyn, authorities say.
    In a news briefing Monday morning, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill identified the suspect as Akayed Ullah. He said the suspect made statements about ISIS but it isn’t clear if he claimed a connection to the terrorist group.
    Sources say only one person was believed to have been involved.
    “At this point in time, all we know of is one individual, thank God he was unsuccessful in his aims,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

    Ullah’s explosive, which he fixed to himself with Velcro and zip ties, was based on a pipe bomb, according to Deputy Commissioner John Miller.
    Fire officials said the suspect had burns to his hands and abdomen. The others who were injured suffered ringing in ears and headaches.
    He was taken to Bellevue Hospital, officials said.

    The blast went off in a tunnel between the Times Square station and Port Authority, the nation’s busiest bus terminal, at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue around 7:20 a.m., according to law enforcement officials.
    Police are investigating whether Ullah intended to set off the device in the walkway, or whether he had meant to do it in a busier location.
    Police and FBI were conducting searches at multiple Brooklyn addresses connected to Ullah. On East 84th Street, police were posted outside a house where Ullah is believed to have been living. Meanwhile, three miles away in Kensington, on Ocean Parkway, police have closed off a block as they sought to speak with Ullah’s relatives inside an apartment building. One woman was seen being escorted out of the building by police, clutching a baby.

    Ullah came to the U.S. on an immigrant visa on Feb. 21, 2011, according to a senior law enforcement official, landing at Kennedy Airport and since obtaining a green card. He has a relative in the states.
    The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission also confirmed Ullah was a licensed cab driver from March 2012 through March 2015. He was licensed as a for-hire vehicle driver at the time, which meant he could drive a black or livery car, but not a yellow taxi. (This predates TLC’s “universal” license, which now allows drivers to operate all cab types.)