A man detonated an improvised explosive device in an underground passageway at a major commuter hub in New York City Monday morning, officials said. New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill identified the suspect as Akayed Ullah, 27, who sustained injuries from the blast and was in police custody.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incident was an attempted terror attack.
"Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals," de Blasio said.
The underground passageway in Manhattan connects the subway stations at Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal and would have been packed with commuters during the morning rush.
President Donald Trump issued a statement Monday afternoon on the attack:
"Today’s attempted mass murder attack in New York City—the second terror attack in New York in the last two months—once again highlights the urgent need for Congress to enact legislative reforms to protect the American people.
First and foremost, as I have have been saying since I first announced by candidacy for President, America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country. Today's terror suspect entered our country through extended-family chain migration, which is incompatible with national security. My Executive action to restrict the entry of certain nationals from eight countries, which the Supreme Court recently allowed to take effect, is just one step forward in securing our immigration system. Congress must end chain migration. Congress must also act on my Administration's other proposals to enhance domestic security, including increasing the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, enhancing the arrest and detention authorities for immigration officers, and ending fraud and abuse in our immigration system. The terrible harm that this flawed system inflicts on America's security and economy has long been clear. I am determined to improve our immigration system to put our country and our people first.
Second, those convicted of engaging in acts of terror deserve the strongest penalty allowed by law, including the death penalty in appropriate cases. America should always stand firm against terrorism and extremism, ensuring that our great institutions can address all evil acts of terror."
A photo confirmed by CBS News showed a bearded man crumpled on the ground with his shirt apparently blown off and black soot covering his bare midriff. A police officer is holding the man's hands behind his back.
O'Neill said three other people in the immediate area of the blast were also injured. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said they suffered minor injuries consistent with being in the area of an explosion such as ringing in the ears and headaches. They transported themselves to area hospitals.
Nigro said the suspect sustained burns to his hands and abdomen in addition to lacerations. He was taken to a Manhattan hospital.
CBS News has learned that the suspect was from Bangladesh and had a second device.
Some passengers were evacuated as a precaution.
.@POTUS has been briefed on the explosion in New York City— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 11, 2017
.@POTUS has been briefed on the explosion in New York City
People reported seeing the bomb squad responding and posted images of the scene on social media.
Bomb squad is out #portauthority pic.twitter.com/FGMrezcS9r— cannolifactory (@cannolifactory) December 11, 2017
Bomb squad is out #portauthority pic.twitter.com/FGMrezcS9r
Many subway lines were forced to bypass the area because of the incident.
1, 2, 3, A, C, E, N, Q, R, W and 7 train are bypassing 42 St. See https://t.co/vhZQ2kZ2vb for full details.— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) December 11, 2017
1, 2, 3, A, C, E, N, Q, R, W and 7 train are bypassing 42 St. See https://t.co/vhZQ2kZ2vb for full details.
New Yorkers were advised to avoid the area.
Police Activity: expect traffic/transit delays and emergency personnel near W 42nd St btwn 8th & 9th Ave. Consider alt routes.— NYCEM - Notify NYC (@NotifyNYC) December 11, 2017
Police Activity: expect traffic/transit delays and emergency personnel near W 42nd St btwn 8th & 9th Ave. Consider alt routes.
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