New York subway bomber sentenced to life in prison

AFP/New York
Filed on April 22, 2021
New York City police investigate an address associated with Akayed Ullah in 2017. Photo: AFP

Bangladeshi immigrant wounded himself, three others in 2017 blast.

A Bangladeshi immigrant was sentenced to life in a US prison Thursday for a botched attempt to unleash carnage with a bomb attack in a crowded New York subway passage.

Akayed Ullah wounded himself and three other people in the December 11, 2017 blast in a tunnel below the Port Authority bus terminal near Times Square.

The bomb, which he strapped to his body with zip wires, failed to detonate as planned, and Ullah was left with burns to his torso and hands. His victims suffered minor complaints such as ringing in their ears and headaches.

The explosion sowed panic and disrupted the Monday morning commute during the busy Christmas tourism season, six weeks after a truck driver, killed eight people on a bike path.

Ullah, who migrated to the United States in 2011, was found guilty on all six counts by a Manhattan jury on November 6, 2018.

The 31-year-old's convictions include supporting a foreign militant organisation, using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place.

Judge Richard Sullivan said that although Ullah "ultimately failed" in the execution of the attack, it didn't make him "less culpable."

"Your conduct was truly heinous. This is about as bad a crime as there is," he said, handing down the life sentence.

Ullah's defence counsel had called for the mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years.

Ullah said what he had done was "wrong."

"I can tell you from the bottom of my heart I am deeply sorry for what I did," he told the sentencing hearing.

Ullah was caught on CCTV walking through the subway terminal and detonating the bomb strapped to his body.

Ullah, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, built the bomb in his apartment, packing the device with metal screws and Christmas tree lights, having planned the attack for several weeks.

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