Suspected NYC Subway Bomber Hit With State Terrorism Charges

Will Racke | Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter

The man accused of detonating a homemade explosive device in a crowded New York City subway station Monday morning has been charged with multiple state-level offenses, police officials said Tuesday.

Akayed Ullah, 27, a legal permanent resident from Bangladesh, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, supporting an act of terrorism and making a terroristic threat, reports ABC News.

New York prosecutors brought the charges about 24 hours after Ullah, who has lived in Brooklyn since immigrating to the U.S. on a family visa in 2011, allegedly tried to carry out a suicide attack in underground passageway near the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Federal charges are expected to be filed Tuesday, as well.

Ullah allegedly told police interrogators he was inspired by ISIS and wanted to retaliate for U.S. bombings of the terror group. The alleged terrorist explained that he watched ISIS propaganda on the internet, read extremist writings and learned how to make bombs through online tutorials. Ullah does not appear to have had direct contact with ISIS members overseas, according to police.

Ullah’s case has prompted renewed criticism of the U.S. immigration policies of chain migration and the diversity visa lottery. He was able to immigrate after one of his relatives became a U.S. citizen through the diversity visa lottery and then sponsored Ullah’s family for their own immigrant visas, according to homeland security officials.

Monday’s bombing was the second recent terror attack that had connections to the diversity visa lottery. In October, a diversity visa holder from Uzbekistan used a van to run down pedestrians on a bike path in Manhattan, killing eight people.

In response to both attacks, the Trump administration has urged Congress to do away with the diversity visa lottery and enact reforms to family-based immigration.

Ullah remained hospitalized as of Tuesday morning.

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