- The Washington Times - Monday, December 11, 2017

The New York City police took a suspected pipe bomber into custody Monday after an explosion hit midtown Manhattan in what the mayor described as “an attempted terrorist attack.”

Initial reports claimed the explosion was a possible pipe bomb that was detonated underneath the Port Authority. The Associated Press reported that a man had the device strapped to his body when he activated it on the subway.

The explosion was reported in the Port Authority Bus Terminal and left four people with non-life-threatening injuries, including the man who detonated the device, according to NBC News. He is in custody.

Police identified the suspect as Akayed Ullah.

Law enforcement officials said the man in custody is a 27-year-old who lived in Brooklyn and is possibly of Bangladesh origin, the New York Post posted.

“He did make statements, but we’re not going to talk about that right now,” James P. O’Neill, NYPD commissioner, said at a press conference when asked if the suspect claimed connection to the Islamic State.

Authorities declined to say whether the suspect said anything prior to detonating the device, only saying that was “part of the investigation.” They said the device used was “based on a pipe bomb,” adding that it was strapped to his body with “Velcro and zip ties.”

Investigators also said the suspect has “serious injuries,” but no one else was seriously harmed.

“This was an attempted terrorist attack,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed in the same press conference.

The terminal was evacuated and subway trains are avoiding the Port Authority and Times Square stops, according to New York City Police Department.

“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,” President Trump said in a statement.

The president has pushed for stricter regulations on both legal and illegal immigration, which White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders mentioned at the briefing on Monday.

“If his policy had been in place, then that attacker would not have been allowed to come in the country,” Mrs. Sanders said.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the blast was an Islamic State-inspired attack, Fox News reported.

Trains are avoiding the 42nd street stop at this time, according to New York City Transit.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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