Suspect pleads 'at this moment, not guilty' in New York City pipe bomb attack

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Stacey Sager reports on the court appearance and plea of the man suspected of exploding a pipe bomb in an NYC subway tunnel. (Right - AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

The man accused of setting off a pipe bomb in an underground subway passageway beneath the Port Authority bus terminal pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

Authorities say 27-year-old Akayed Ullah was the only person seriously hurt on December 11 when the bomb went off in a corridor linking the Times Square subway to the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan. The Bangladeshi immigrant, is charged with supporting an act of terrorism, criminal possession of a weapon and making terroristic threats.

Only three people suffered minor injuries in the explosion.

Ullah reportedly said, "At this moment, not guilty," when asked to enter his plea. He faces a maximum of life in prison and is not eligible for the death penalty because no one died in the attack.

He was arrested soon after the pipe bomb failed to fully explode, though he was initially hospitalized after suffering burns. He remains held without bail at a lockup next to the federal court complex in lower Manhattan.

Authorities said Ullah taunted President Donald Trump on Facebook before the attack. The president later demanded tightened immigration rules.

They also said in court papers that he admitted he wanted to cause carnage to avenge U.S. aggression toward the Islamic State group.

His initial appearance before a federal magistrate judge came via a monitor, which showed images of him in his hospital bed, flanked by his publicly appointed lawyers.

Authorities say the pipe bomb was assembled in the suspect's apartment, officials said, in an attack he is believed to have been planning for a year.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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port authoritybombingexplosionnyc port authority subway explosionterror attacknyc terror attackMidtownManhattanNew York City
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