A man who set off a pipe bomb in a busy New York City subway station on Monday was charged the following day on multiple terror counts, the New York Police Department said.
The NYPD said Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi native who moved to the United States in 2011, was indicted on state charges of criminal possession of a weapon, supporting an act of terrorism and making terrorist threats.
Ullah is expected to also be indicted for federal terrorism offenses as early as Monday, ABC News reported.
Ullah set off a pipe bomb during rush hour Monday morning in a subway passage near Times Square, wounding three people. The explosion left him with several burns to his torso and hands, and he was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
He told police investigators he wanted to avenge US airstrikes on the Islamic State group and was also inspired by Christmas terror plots in Europe — choosing the location for his attack based on Christmas posters on the subway walls, US media reported.
An NYPD official said Ullah wasn’t known to authorities before the incident.
Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism and Intelligence John Miller said on CBS “This Morning” on Tuesday that Ullah wasn’t on police or FBI’s radar before the bombing.
He said it was getting harder and harder to defend against such acts because would-be terrorists were going online to read propaganda without speaking with any larger group.
Authorities say Ullah intentionally set off the bomb in a long passageway connecting Seventh and Eighth Avenues near Times Square
Bangladeshi counterterrorism officers on Tuesday questioned Ullah’s wife and said he had visited the family in Dhaka in September.
Police said Ullah, who immigrated as a member of a family already living in the US under what is known as chain immigration, had visited Dhaka after the couple’s son was born.
“We are trying to know how he was radicalized and whether he had any associate,” senior counterterrorism officer Saiful Islam told AFP.
He said police had raided the family home and questioned Ullah’s 25-year-old wife, Jannatul Ferdous Piya, and her father, but that neither was under any suspicion.
Bangladesh police are investigating whether he was radicalized in his Muslim-majority homeland, where foreigners have been among those targeted in deadly assaults claimed by the IS and al-Qaeda.
Police in Bangladesh said he has never appeared on a watchlist there.