Akayed Ullah

New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission via AP

Attorneys: Recent Pipe Bomb Headlines Could Affect Terrorism Trial

October 28, 2018 - 12:42 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The terrorism trial for the man accused of attempting to set off a pipe bomb in the subway last year starts Monday, but his attorneys are concerned recent headlines about pipe bombs will affect their case.

Prosecutors say Akayed Ullah was looking to fight back against American aggression towards ISIS. They say he wanted to make as big of an impact as possible – choosing to set off a pipe bomb in the subway stops below the Port Authority Bus Terminal during a busy Monday morning on Dec. 11.

Ullah, a Bangladeshi immigrant, was the only person seriously hurt as the bomb partially exploded while he was holding it in a corridor connecting the Times Square subway to the busy bus terminal.

It’s his weapon of choice, a pipe bomb, that is now back in the news after more than a dozen such bombs were sent to prominent Democrats and CNN last week. A Florida man, Cesar Sayoc Jr., was charged in that case. 

Ullah’s attorneys are now working to ensure that the recent headlines don’t influence their case as the trial approaches.

They’re asking the judge to ask prospective jurors whether all the discussion about pipe bombs lately will impact their ability to be fair and impartial in the case.

Ullah was offered a chance to plead guilty to five counts, which would have given him a minimum of 30 years behind bars. He turned down the plea deal.

If found guilty, he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.