Three people were injured Monday when a would-be suicide bomber ignited a "low-tech device" during rush hour in a subway tunnel leading to the bustling Port Authority Bus Terminal.
The suspect was identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi immigrant living in Brooklyn. He was hospitalized with burns to his abdomen and hands, police said.
.@POTUS has been briefed on the explosion in New York City— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 11, 2017
The three victims sustained minor injuries, including temporary deafness, ringing in the ears and headaches.
"This is New York," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "The reality is that we are a target by a man who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom."
Surveillance video showed a flash and loud noises echoing in the tunnel just before 7:30 a.m. Commuters fled as the suspect's body was motionless..
Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller said that the device was attached to a pipe bomb that had been fastened to Ullah's body with Velcro and zip ties. The pipe bomb did not detonate.
"Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals," said NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The sprawling transportation hub was evacuated and subway service was briefly suspended at the terminal, located just blocks away from Times Square.
The NYPD is responding to reports of an explosion of unknown origin at 42nd Street and 8th Ave, #Manhattan. The A, C and E line are being evacuated at this time. Info is preliminary, more when available. pic.twitter.com/7vpNT97iLC— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 11, 2017
Ullah told investigators he planned the attack because of Israeli actions in Gaza, authorities said.
His Brooklyn neighbors described him as always appearing angry or on edge.
He entered the U.S. in 2011 on an immigrant visa and became a legal permanent resident, a Homeland Security spokesman said. He had a taxi license from 2012 to 2015, according to authorities.
Elrana Peralta, a Greyhound customer service worker at the terminal, said she did not hear the explosion.
"All we could hear was the chaos," she told CBS News. "We could hear people yelling, 'Get out! Get out! Get out!'"
John Miles was waiting for a bus to Massachusetts when he saw police bounding through the massive facility.
"I didn't know what was going on," he told the network. "Officers were running around. I was freaking out."
Then there was an announcement for travelers to take their luggage and leave.
"They didn't incite panic," Miles said. "It was fairly orderly."
Several New York City subway lines connect at or near the Port Authority. The hub is an entry point for more than 200,000 bus and other commuters each work day.