‘Attempted terrorist attack’ unleashes chaos in NYC’s bus terminal

A homemade pipe bomb sows panic in Port Authority

Attempted terrorist attack

Read in Spanish: Explosión en concurrida terminal de buses desata caos en Nueva York

One of the busiest bus terminal in New York City was in chaos today after a man wearing a homemade pipe bomb detonated his explosive at one of the walkways of Port Authority, terminal located in Manhattan near Times Square, and main interstate bus arrival in the city.

At 7:20 am, time of high flow of passengers in the city, the New York Police Department responded to an emergency call that reported the explosion of an artifact at Port Authority. There, a 27-year-old man had been wounded and burned, after trying to detonate a homemade explosive that was tied to his body, injuring three other people and causing chaos in the crowd.

According to Police Commissioner of New York, James O'Neil, the attacker identified as Akayed Ullah, had an "improvised explosive" attached to his body and intentionally detonated on the line of the station that connects Brooklyn with Queens. The perpetrator was arrested by the authorities and the attack appears to be isolated, discarding new possible treats in other areas of NYC.

“Attempted terrorist attack”

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident as an “attempted terrorist attack” and he thanked to first officials to respond for being effective and prompt at addressing the situation and making sure people was safe.  

Port Authority is one of the most congested bus terminals in the country, where people from other states arrive and which connects directly with the subway service in Manhattan. For the authorities and leaders of NY, an incident or attack within the Subway area could become the "worst nightmare" for the city, since more than 5.7 million people use this transportation system every day.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the city is a clear target for terrorists and therefore any suspicious activity should be reported. "We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, and that makes us an international target, we understand that. With the Internet now, anyone can go to the Internet and download garbage and vileness on how to put together an amateur level explosive device and that is reality that we live in", said Cuomo during statements about the attack in Port Authority.

Previous attacks in NYC

  • “Allah Akbar”:  On October 31 of this year, a man deliberately driving a pickup truck over a bike path, killed 8 people and left several others injured. The incident took place near the West Side Highway, in close proximity to Stuyvesant High School, the Freedom Tower, and the September 11th Memorial.
    The author of the attack was identified as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old man from Uzbekistan who had immigrated to the US. through the Diversity Visa Lottery program. The attacker was neutralized by the authorities after leaving the car shouting "Allah Akbar”, which means ‘Allah is the greatest’.
  • Chelsea Neighborhood Explosion: On September 17, 2016, a total of 29 people were injured, after a strong explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, caused by a homemade appliance. That same day, another homemade bomb exploded in a garbage dump in Seaside Park, New Jersey, leaving no injuries. Investigations of the authorities led to the dismantling of multiple homemade bombs located in New York and New Jersey that same day. On September 19, the FBI identified Ahmad Khan Rahani as the author of this incidents.

LatinAmerican Post | Krishna Jaramillo

Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza

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