The Brooklyn man accused of setting off an explosive device near the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Manhattan’s West Side on Dec. 11, causing minor injuries to three bystanders and disrupting morning commutes for many, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to a six-count indictment that included using a weapon of mass destruction.
Akayed Ullah, 27, who also suffered injuries in the blast, is also charged with providing material support to the Islamic State, conducting a terrorist attack on a mass transit system, bombing a public place, destruction of property with fire or explosives and using an improvised explosive device in furtherance of a crime.
Prosecutors say that Ullah used a pipe bomb filled with metal screws in the attack. The attack was the third to hit New York City over the last 17 months.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shawn Crowley, Rebekah Donaleski and George Turner made appearances to handle the prosecution.
Ullah, who immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh in 2011, appeared for a formal arraignment before U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan of the Southern District of New York wearing blue and gray jail scrubs, appearing to move gingerly as he took his seat between his attorneys, Amy Gallicchio and Julia Gatto of the Federal Defenders of New York.
Ullah was treated at Bellevue Hospital after the blast for burns and cuts to his hands and abdomen and is now in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Gallicchio said the defense would need 90 days to review discovery material in the case, which Turner said includes video of Ullah allegedly carrying out the attack, phone records, financial records, travel records and message logs from his electronic devices.
“We have to balance the need for speed with a need to give you the opportunity to prepare your defense,” Sullivan said to Ullah, who answered several yes-or-no questions from the judge.