Updated at 11:07 a.m. ET
A man wearing an improvised explosive device caused an explosion Monday in a New York subway tunnel near Times Square, authorities said. The state’s governor told New Yorkers what they already know: attacks like this one are inevitable in a city that is a permanent target for anti-American terrorists.
“This is New York,” Andrew Cuomo, the New York state governor, said Monday. “The reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom. We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, and that makes us an international target. We understand that.”
The blast occurred at about 7:20 a.m. in the passageway connecting the busy subways stations at Times Square and Port Authority Bus Terminal, officials said at a news conference. James O’Neill, the city’s police commissioner, identified the attacker as Akayed Ullah, 27, a resident of Brooklyn. Other news reports, citing unnamed police sources, said Ullah is an immigrant from Bangladesh who has lived in the U.S. for seven years. Ullah sustained serious injuries in the explosion, while three others in the vicinity of the blast had minor injuries, authorities said.
The city has long been a terrorist target. Since the 1960s, left-wing militants, Puerto Rican activists, and Islamists have carried out fatal attacks on New York. Monday’s attack near the iconic Times Square is the latest in a series of prominent Islamist terrorist attacks on the city, one of the first being in 1993, when al-Qaeda used a truck bomb to target the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring hundreds. In the 24 years since then, jihadists have attacked the city several more times—a testament not only of the city’s place in the world’s imagination, but also their desire to strike blow against what they see as the most potent symbol of the United States.