For the second time in as many months, an ISIS-inspired terrorist victimized citizens and visitors in New York City. Fortunately for all involved, the bomber failed in his objective to kill innocent Americans. But it does appear as though the Islamic State warned this attack may happen.
Back in November, an ISIS supporter released a terrifying warning to New York City on social media. The poster depicted Santa Claus gazing out over Times Square with a case of dynamite at his feet.
Accompanying the image, which also included crowds of pedestrians lining the streets, was a haunting caption. “We meet at Christmas in New York…soon,” the poster warned. On Monday morning, the stirring image almost became a reality.
Around 7 a.m. yesterday, 27-year old Akayed Ullah, a native of Bangladesh, arrived at Times Square to do the bidding of ISIS. Wearing what’s known as a “suicide vest,” Ullah entered the underground tunnel connecting the busy New York Square and the Port Authority bus terminal.
Thankfully, the terrorist detonated the bomb prematurely which prevented a major tragedy. After the explosion, authorities took Ullah into custody at which time a second pipe bomb was found on his person. Three people sustained minor injuries in the attack.
According to reports, Ullah admitted to law enforcement investigators that he carried out his mission to exact revenge. “They’ve been bombing in my country and I wanted to do damage here,” he said per the Daily Mail.
Motive Remains Unclear
SITE Intelligence group is sharing information that somewhat contradicts the motives put forth by Ullah and law enforcement. Their intelligence indicates that ISIS is claiming the attack was retaliation for President Trump declaring Jerusalem the official capital of Israel.
Specifically, a pro-ISIS channel posted a photoshopped image of the president at Times Square. Like their previous messages, the image included threatening text. “The recognition of your dog ‘Trump’ Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will make us recognize explosives as the capital of your country,” it read.
Over the last several months, both ISIS and Al Qaeda have warned of increasing terror attacks against the West. Just before Thanksgiving, Islamic State supporters called for the assassination of President Trump’s son Barron.
This latest incident comes less than two months after the deadly Halloween day attack in Upper Manhattan. Previously, on October 31st, Uzbekistan native Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented Home Depot truck down a bicycle path killing eight and injuring dozens of others. Similarly to Saipov, Ullah entered the country with several family members on an immigrant visa.