Times Square Subway Bomber Faces Terrorism Charges

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on December 14, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

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:

  1. Provision of material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization (maximum sentence of 20 years in prison);
  2. Using and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction (maximum sentence of life in prison);
  3. Bombing and attempting to bomb a place of public use (maximum sentence of life in prison);
  4. Destruction of property by means of fire or explosives (mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, maximum sentence of 20 years in prison); and
  5. Use of a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence, namely, the use and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction (mandatory minimum consecutive sentence of 30 years in prison, maximum of life in prison).

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.

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