A 31-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for a failed 2017 suicide bombing that disrupted New York City subway access and sent morning commuters running, according to the Department of Justice.
The life-long prison sentence comes after the man, whose name has been withheld per Daily Wire policy, was convicted in federal court for detonating a bomb at a subway station in December 2017. According to NBC News, the bomber’s lawyer unsuccessfully argued in court that her client deserved no more than 35 years in prison because he did not have long-standing ties to extremism, had been struggling with depression at the time of the attack, and had previously “lived lawfully and peacefully.”
“The reasons for [my client’s] conduct were and remain aberrational and there is no chance such conduct will be repeated,” said his lawyer in court last month, reports the Associated Press. “Mr. Ullah’s actions were without a doubt dangerous, intolerable and deserving of punishment, but they were also an attempt to take his own life, which evinces a man in extreme crisis.”
The court, however, disagreed.
“They were just people on the way to work or school,” U.S. Circuit Court Judge Richard Sullivan said Thursday, reports the BBC. “To you, these people were expendable.”
With the pipe bomb strapped to his chest, the man traveled to the station near the Port Authority bus terminal intent on killing Americans in the name of the Islamic State. One person was injured by shrapnel, and two others suffered from partial hearing loss, according to federal officials.
“[The bomber] constructed a pipe bomb and detonated it in a mass transit hub in the heart of New York City to harm and terrorize as many people as possible – and he admitted that he did it on behalf of ISIS,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division in a statement Thursday. “This case reminds us that the threat of ISIS-inspired terrorism remains real. This sentence holds [the bomber] accountable, as he will spend the rest of his life in federal prison for his crimes.”
The explosion left the bomber with serious injuries, including burns to his hands and abdomen, The New York Times reported in December 2017. The man, an immigrant from Bangladesh living in the United States on a visa, was arrested after law enforcement found him on the floor of the smoke-filled subway station.
“[The bomber’s] motive was clear and unambiguous: a deeply held ideological hatred for America,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss in a statement Thursday. “Ironically, [his] actions resulted only in reaffirming the greatness of America by displaying the fairness and impartiality for which our justice system stands.”
“[The bomber’s] message of hatred clearly backfired; his just sentence of life in prison only exemplifies that cowardly acts of terrorism will be met with law enforcement’s unwavering resolve to protect our core values of freedom and democracy,” she said.
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