Life imprisonment for the perpetrator of a failed Manhattan bombing

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New York | The man who tried to blow himself up in December 2017 in the corridors of the New York subway in Times Square, inspired by the Islamic State organization, was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday by a federal judge in Manhattan.

• Read also: Arrest of a man suspected of a plan to attack in Times Square

At the hearing, Federal Judge Richard Sullivan said the punishment was aimed in particular at “sending a message” to those who might be tempted to carry out actions similar to that of Akayed Ullah.

His lawyer, Amy Gallicchio, had asked that the minimum sentence provided for by the texts be pronounced, ie 35 years in prison.

Originally from Bangladesh, Akayed Ullah was arrested on December 11, just after causing an explosion, during rush hour, in a corridor connecting Times Square, a hotspot in Manhattan, to the Port Authority bus station.

He had attached a homemade bomb to his chest, which had only partially exploded.

Seriously injured, he had no casualties, but the attack raised the tension after a car-ramming attack in late October 2017 that killed eight people in lower Manhattan, an act perpetrated by a man himself also inspired by the Islamic State.

The defense assured at trial that Akayed Ullah, who resided in a heavily Bangladeshi neighborhood in Brooklyn, did not want to kill anyone.

But the prosecution had presented him as the very type of the “lone wolf”, determined to carry out deadly attacks on behalf of the Islamic State organization, citing in support the messages he had posted on social networks before. the attack.

It is “a miracle” that the attack did not make a victim, insisted Thursday Rebekah Donaleski, the assistant of the federal prosecutor of Manhattan, Audrey Strauss.

In November 2018, after a week-long trial, a jury found Akayed Ullah guilty of all six charges against him, four of which were each punishable by life imprisonment.

The investigation showed that the young man, who arrived in the United States in 2014 with a family reunification visa, had gradually become radicalized there.

He had admitted being inspired by the Islamic State and having wanted to take revenge for the American strikes against the organization and denounce American policy in the Middle East.

At the hearing on Thursday, Akayed Ullah apologized and expressed regret.