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Akayed Ullah set off a pipe bomb in a section of the New York City subway system near Times Square during rush hour on Monday morning this week. The joking response was that it merely inconvenienced some hard-nosed New Yorkers on their way to work.
But the terrorism charges Ullah is facing are serious -- if convicted, Ullah could face life in prison.
Federal and State Terrorism Charges
Federal authorities have charged Ullah with five terrorism-related crimes:
In addition, New York State has charged Ullah with criminal possession of a weapon, supporting an act of terrorism, and making a terroristic threat. The prosecution of the federal offenses will take precedence over the state crimes.
Times Square Terrorist
According to the Justice Department, Ullah was found at the scene of the explosion (which thankfully didn't seriously injure anyone but himself) with batteries and wiring attached to his clothing along with zip ties and fragments of the metal pipe nearby. Ullah told investigators he carried out the attack because of the government's foreign policy in the Middle East and that he intended to kill as many people as possible. "I did it for the Islamic State," he said.
Ullah was informed of the charges via courtroom video from his hospital bed.