He looked like just another straphanger, traveling from Kensington, Brooklyn, into Manhattan. But authorities claim his intentions were to terrorize, and even kill, his fellow commuters. Now, because of widespread security surveillance, with thousands of public and private security cameras on the streets, and in subway stations and apartment buildings, it’s possible to witness the journey he took on that frightening day.
Last Dec. 11, cameras tracked Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi immigrant who the authorities said had strapped a homemade pipe bomb to his chest, from his Brooklyn apartment, onto the subway and into Manhattan, where he detonated his device in a crowded passageway between the Times Square and Port Authority stations. It was the first attempted suicide attack in New York since Sept. 11, 2001.
Mr. Ullah, 28, is now on trial in federal court in Manhattan, where prosecutors have presented the video captured of his journey as evidence against him. His defense claims Mr. Ullah was only trying to harm himself.
The footage shown to the jury began early as Mr. Ullah left his apartment at 679 Ocean Parkway around 6 a.m. and descended three floors to the lobby:
It was just weeks before the holidays, as the Monday morning rush hour was beginning around the city:
Mr. Ullah left his building and turned north on Ocean Parkway, heading for the 18th Avenue subway station in Brooklyn:
At 6:24 a.m., he swiped a MetroCard, then boarded the F train, riding it to the Jay Street MetroTech station. There, he changed to the A train and rode it into Manhattan:
While on the subway, prosecutors said, Mr. Ullah posted a message on Facebook: “O Trump you fail to protect your nation.” After arriving at the Port Authority station, he headed for the underground passageway that runs toward Times Square:
At about 7:20 a.m., a detective testified, Mr. Ullah detonated his pipe bomb:
Mr. Ullah, the most seriously injured of the blast victims, was taken into custody and interrogated at Bellevue Hospital. Prosecutors said Mr. Ullah admitted responsibility for the attack, saying, “I did it for the Islamic State.”
Testimony in Mr. Ullah’s case ended on Thursday. Mr. Ullah, who has pleaded not guilty, did not testify. The prosecution and the defense are expected to deliver closing arguments on Monday. If he is convicted, he could face life in prison.
Benjamin Weiser is a reporter covering the Manhattan federal courts. He has long covered criminal justice, both as a beat and investigative reporter. Before joining The Times in 1997, he worked for 18 years at The Washington Post. @BenWeiserNYT
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