Four wounded, including arrested suspect
A man threw a homemade bomb into a tunnel near Times Square on Monday morning, injuring three, a fresh attack in New York after a ram-slug attack in late October.
“It’s an attempt at a terrorist attack,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters.
The explosion occurred at rush hour, at 7:20 am, in a tunnel connecting the major transportation hubs of Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, near 42nd Street and 8th Avenue.
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
The explosion was triggered by a 27-year-old man, identified as Akayed Ullah of the Brooklyn district, who wore Velcro strips attached to the body as “a rudimentary explosive device” that would have exploded prematurely, said the chief of police. police, James O’Neill.
The suspect was arrested with “wounds and burns to the body” and was hospitalized, O’Neill added.
Three people in the immediate vicinity were also injured, although “none are in danger of death,” according to New York firefighters.
Several New York media said he was from Bangladesh, where he would have arrived seven years ago.
The incident was recorded by the tunnel’s surveillance cameras, O’Neill said. See these images in the video at the very top of the text.
A video was circulating on the social networks and on the New York Post site, which shows a hooded man walking in the tunnel, with many people in front of and behind him, until smoke appears, apparently at the moment. of the explosion.
A photo that showed the suspect on the ground, folded in half with blood in the stomach, also circulated on Twitter.
The bus station was quickly evacuated without panic, according to an AFP photographer. The neighborhood was cordoned off, and several subway lines passing through this area west of Manhattan were immediately stopped or stopped.
Much of the traffic was re-established shortly before 10:00 am, said New York subway boss Joe Lhota, who said the police and metro authorities had been training for an incident like this in early November.
Former New York Police Chief Bill Bratton told MSNBC that he was informed that the suspect acted on behalf of the Islamic State (IS) group. But this information was not immediately confirmed by the authorities.
President Donald Trump was immediately informed, the White House said.
The incident comes in the run-up to the holiday season, which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists to the most populous city in the United States. Times Square is a particularly sensitive point, where nearly a million people meet every year to mark the transition to the New Year.
New York is considered a prime target for terrorist movements and is closely monitored, with thousands of uniformed and plainclothes officers deployed in numerous tourist locations.
Monday’s attack comes less than six weeks after a deadly attack on Manhattan Point last October 31: the day of Halloween, a truck attack had killed eight dead and 12 wounded at the southern tip of Manhattan, constituting the first deadly attack in New York since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbek, was riding a bicycle lane along the Hudson River with a pick-up truck, mowing down cyclists and passers-by before hitting a school bus.
The suspect, who had pledged allegiance to the IS, was immediately arrested and imprisoned. He has since been indicted and faces life imprisonment. Donald Trump even claimed for him the death penalty.
The US financial capital has been the scene of other attempts of attacks in recent years, most often “lone wolves” claiming Islamist jihadism, which had not made any death until October 31.