Port Authority explosion suspect: What we know about Akayed Ullah

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An attempted suicide bomber who set off a rush-hour explosion at the nation’s busiest bus terminal is a Bangladeshi national living in Brooklyn who was inspired by ISIS, law enforcement officials said.

The suspect in Monday morning’s blast at Port Authority in midtown Manhattan was identified as Akayed Ullah, 27. Ullah strapped a pipe bomb to his body with Velcro and zip ties, and it detonated in a subway corridor, police said.

What do we know about the suspect?

Ullah lived in Brooklyn, but he immigrated from Bangladesh nearly seven years ago, federal law enforcement sources confirmed to Fox News. The Department of Homeland Security said Ullah came to the U.S. in 2011 on an F43 visa, a preferential visa available for those with family in the U.S. who are citizens.

This photo from a 2011 drivers license shows Akayed Ullah, the suspect in the explosion near New York's Times Square on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Ullah is suspected of strapping a pipe bomb to his body and setting off the crude device under 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, injuring himself and a few others. (New York Department of Motor Vehicles via AP)

This photo from a 2011 drivers license shows Akayed Ullah, the suspect in the explosion near New York’s Times Square on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017.  (New York Department of Motor Vehicles via AP)

He was considered a “Lawful Permanent Resident from Bangladesh,” DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton told Fox News. 

Law enforcement officials said Ullah was inspired by ISIS but didn’t appear to have direct contact with the group and likely acted alone.

Ullah was a licensed cab driver from March 2012 to March 2015, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission confirmed to Fox News. His TLC For-Hire Vehicle Driver’s License was not renewed after 2015.

akayed ullah

Akayed Ullah was a licensed cab driver in New York from March 2012 to March 2015.  (Image provided by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission)

The TLC spokesperson did not confirm “whether he drove for any particular base, or whether he simply got the license but didn’t drive at all.” He did say Ullah was not licensed to drive a yellow taxi. 

An Uber spokeswoman confirmed to Fox News that the ride-sharing company has no record of Ullah being “connected to the Uber platform.” Lyft also does not “have any records” that Ullah worked for it, a spokesperson told Fox News.

What else do we know about the attack?

The suspect allegedly packed a 5-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack into the right side of his jacket, according to The New York Post. Ullah told police he made the bomb at his work, law enforcement sources told Fox News.

The Post reported that he worked for an electrical company.

The device was an “effectively low-tech device,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. Officials said they are investigating whether the suspect detonated the bomb intentionally or if it went off prematurely.

The explosion occurred just before 7:30 a.m. near 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues, law enforcement officials said. The explosion triggered a massive emergency response by police and fire both above and below ground, tangling subway and bus service at Port Authority.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the explosion was an “attempted terrorist attack.”

“At this point in time,” the only suspect is the one man already in custody, de Blasio said Monday morning, adding that the city is lucky the suspect didn’t achieve his intended goals.

Four people, not including the suspect, were injured in the explosion, an NYPD spokeswoman confirmed to Fox News Monday afternoon. Three people sustained minor injuries and one person was seriously hurt, though none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson, Rick Leventhal, John Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.