Akayed Ullah: Times Square subway pipe bomber jailed for life

Akayed UllahImage source, CBS
Image caption,
Akayed Ullah detonated the bomb in New York City's busiest subway station

A man who set off a pipe bomb during rush hour in a New York subway station has been sentenced to life in prison.

Akayed Ullah, 31, detonated the bomb in Times Square station, which is the busiest in New York City, on 11 December 2017.

He later claimed he had only wanted to kill himself and was not acting on behalf of the Islamic State (IS) group.

US Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan described the attack as a "truly barbaric and heinous crime".

"They were just people on the way to work or school," Judge Sullivan said before sentencing Ullah to life plus 30 years on Thursday. "To you, these people were expendable."

Media caption,
From 2017: The moment the explosion hit the NYC subway station

There were no deaths in the bombing, but four people were injured. The explosion also forced the closure of the station as well as the busy Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The pipe bomb was made from materials obtained from a nearby construction site, where Ullah had been working as an electrician.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Both Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal were closed after the attack

During his trial, prosecutors said Ullah's "lone wolf" attack was inspired by IS propaganda, and that he was angry with then-President Donald Trump's foreign policy in the Middle East.

Ullah was convicted in November 2018.

His sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for April 2019. However it was delayed by two years, partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ullah was from Bangladesh but moved to the US in 2011. At the time of the attack he was living in Brooklyn with his mother, sister and two brothers, while his wife and young son lived in Bangladesh.