A wannabe terrorist reportedly inspired by the Islamic State tried to wreak havoc in New York City on Monday. As in past incidents, it didn’t work — not the pipe bomb, or the terror.
The bomb exploded in an underground passageway between the Times Square and Port Authority bus terminal subway stations. No connective tissue is more important, no service seems more central to city living than the trains that get us around, the tunnels that let us hop lines, the platforms where we stand packed together, concerned only about delays.
Akayed Ullah attempted to upend that sense of safety when the 27-year-old from Brooklyn allegedly strapped a crude pipe-bomb device to his body on Monday. Around 7:20 a.m., the bomb exploded.
Thankfully, the device only resulted in minor injuries for three other people. Police quickly took Ullah into custody. The lawful permanent resident originally from Bangladesh reportedly made statements indicating he attempted his depraved deed in the name of the Islamic State, and over vague grievances about the Middle East, according to law enforcement.
New York, of course, is no stranger to terror attempts, either on the subway or throughout the city. The heavily policed and trafficked area within which the failed bomber made his try has seen too many close calls. A smoking car bomb just simmered in Times Square in 2010. In October, federal indictments were unsealed in a foiled bomb plot against Times Square, the subway, and concert venues.
No matter what strain of mistaken ideology the bomber thought he was following — no matter what perceived injustice he incorrectly believed called for a brutal attack — Monday marked just one more in a long line of attempts. Unfortunately, there will be more.
The attacks will try to rend apart the city’s fabric — both the trains that get us from place to place and the deeper qualities that come from living in New York, where police and emergency personnel are always on alert so we can go about our business. That’s no less true this week. But on Tuesday, we’re hopping on our usual lines.