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New York City subway bomber convicted on federal terrorism charges

November 7, 2018

A Bangladeshi man who said he was inspired by the Islamic State to detonate a pipe bomb last year near the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal was found guilty of six federal terrorism charges Tuesday.

Akayed Ullah, 28, of Brooklyn, was convicted by a federal jury in Manhattan after a weeklong trial.

All told, Ullah was found guilty of using a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a mass transportation system and other charges. He faces life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Richard J. Sullivan on April 5.

“This guilty verdict holds Ullah accountable, and he faces a potential life term in federal prison for his crimes,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

Ullah set off a makeshift bomb in a crowded subway terminal on Dec. 11, 2017. The early morning rush hour explosion wounded one person with shrapnel and caused panic throughout New York.

During the trial, federal prosecutors presented evidence, including video footage, of Ullah setting abomb and a confession when authorities interviewed him at a hospital after the attack.

Ullah’s court-appointed attorney did not challenge claims he detonated the bomb, but instead argued that the defendant was trying to kill himself and not others. She said the suicide attempt was the result of exposure to propaganda from the Islamic State, better known by the acronym ISIS.

While being interrogated by federal and local law enforcement, Ullah claimed the attack was “for the Islamic State” in protest of the U.S. government’s policies in the middle east.

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