Akayed Ullah had no visible injuries in Thursday's hearing after the flubbed attack in the corridor linking the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Times Square subway station on December 11. He answered, "Yes." When asked for his plea, Ullah responded, "At this moment, not guilty". He remains held without bail at a lockup next to the federal court complex in lower Manhattan.
Ullah's arraignment fell shortly after a grand jury indicted him Wednesday on charges that align with the complaint brought against him one day after the bombing: supporting a foreign terrorist organization, using a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a place of public use, destroying public property and using a destructive device in a crime of violence.
The Brooklyn man accused of setting off an explosive device near the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Manhattan's West Side on December 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.
Addressing reporters today, Ullah's attorney Amy Gallicchio emphasized the importance of due process.
The report said prosecutors went over what sort of evidence they intend to present, including photographs of the scene, Akayed's statements to authorities after his arrest, fingerprints and the results of searches of his phone, financial and travel records, laptop, social media accounts, and home.
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"When we have an indictment containing charges like this, I think it's easy to lose sight of the important and invaluable rights that every person is afforded in our system of justice, including Mr. Ullah", Gallicchio said.
Investigators said Ullah admitted he built the bomb at his apartment on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn and was self-radicalized by ISIS videos he had watched online. He has not yet set a trial date.
Before the blast, Ullah posted messages to his Facebook page referring to ISIS and taunting President Donald Trump.
Ullah, 27, had strapped the bomb to his chest - and planned to die in the blast, officials said. The president later demanded tightened immigration rules.
"Less than one month ago, during the holiday rush hour, Akayed Ullah allegedly detonated a bomb in a major transit hub of New York City", U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a press release.