Bangladeshi man pleads not guilty in NYC subway bomb attack


By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – A Bangladeshi immigrant still recovering from injuries suffered in the failed pipe bombing of the New York subway system pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges Thursday.

Akayed Ullah, 27, entered the plea after he was indicted a day earlier on charges he provided material support to a terrorist organization and used a weapon of mass destruction.

The bearded Ullah was the only person seriously hurt when the bomb went off Dec. 11 in a corridor linking the subway to Manhattan’s Port Authority bus terminal.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan asked Ullah how he wanted to plead to the six-count indictment. Ullah responded: “At this moment, not guilty.”

His court-appointed attorney, Amy Gallicchio, did not elaborate on the plea outside court.

During the proceeding, she asked Sullivan if he could intervene to speed medical care to Ullah at the lockup next to the courthouse in lower Manhattan.

She said Ullah recently had some stitches removed but had others that were still causing him a “great deal of discomfort.” And she said he needed some of the dressing on his wounds changed. He seemed to walk gingerly to his seat before the hearing began.

The judge said she should make her requests first of prison authorities and return to the judge only if they don’t respond.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George Turner said evidence Ullah will face at a trial likely to last only a week or two includes surveillance video of him detonating the bomb, along with photographs of bomb components on him and elsewhere.

He said other evidence includes Ullah’s post-arrest statements, FBI laboratory reports on fingerprints and other forensic evidence along with materials gathered during searches of locations where Ullah stored his laptop and other personal items.

The judge said he may set a trial date at the next hearing, which was set for April 13.

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

Prosecutors said Ullah wanted to cause carnage to avenge U.S. aggression toward the Islamic State group. The pipe bomb never fully exploded.

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