Dec 122017

Bangladeshi-origin Akayed Ullah, the perpetrator behind Monday's bomb attack in a New York City subway passageway, told police that he was motivated by Israeli 'incursions in Gaza', CNN reported.

Three people were injured yesterday when Akayed, 27, a Brooklyn resident, detonated a pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded passageway during the morning rush hour.

The blast took place in the subway station at the Port Authority bus terminal, not far from the city's iconic Times Square, sparking commuter panic and travel disruptions.

A law enforcement official quoted by CNN said recent Israeli actions in Gaza had compelled Akayed to carry out the attack, adding that the suspect had said he was "upset" with the "incursion into Gaza".

However, it is unclear which incursion the suspect may have been referring to, as Israel launched airstrikes against Hamas, killing two members of the group. The airstrikes, which followed a rocket attack on Israel, came days after United States (US) President Donald Trump recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

According to the CNN, Akayed has also pledged allegiance to the militant Islamic State group.

Trump slams 'chain migration'

After Monday's attack, President Trump renewed his criticisms of US immigration policy.

Akayed Ulla came to the US from Bangladesh in 2011 on a visa available to certain relatives of US citizens.

Trump says that programme "is incompatible with national security."

Trump's administration has called for limiting family-based green cards to spouses and minor children.

Akayed's family have said that they are "deeply saddened" by the attack.

Bangladesh police, after scrambling for details about the attacker, said they had uncovered little about him. They added that the suspect was not on Bangladesh's terror list.

"So far, his name is not on our wide-range list of radicalised persons or members of terror groups, both from Bangladesh and outside," senior counter-terrorism police officer Sanwar Hossain told AFP.

"We are trying to gather more details," he said.

Meanwhile, Dhaka has condemned the attack on the subway station, saying that it is "committed to its declared policy of 'Zero Tolerance' against terrorism."

In a statement, the Bangladesh government said that it "condemns terrorism and violent extremism in all forms or manifestations anywhere in the world, including Monday morning's incident in New York City."

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