NYC terror suspect's family 'heartbroken' by attack

PHOTO: Police respond to a reported explosion at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Dec. 11, 2017, in New York City. PlayBryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images
WATCH NYC terror suspect's family 'heartbroken' by attack

The family of the man accused of detonating an explosive in the New York City subway system this morning said they are "heartbroken" by the allegations.

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The explosion occurred in an underground passageway near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, sending commuters scrambling to evacuate a major transit hub just blocks from Times Square. Despite the rush-hour crowds, only five people suffered minor injuries, officials said.

The 27-year-old suspect, Akayed Ullah, is in the hospital, badly injured in the arm and torso from the device that went off in his arms, law enforcement sources said.

PHOTO: Akayed Ullah is pictured in an undated photo released by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. TLC
Akayed Ullah is pictured in an undated photo released by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

"We are heartbroken by this attack on our city today and by the allegations being made against a member of our family. Our family like all families is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all New Yorkers," the family said in a statement provided by the Council on American-Islamic Relations-New York.

"But we are also outraged by the behavior of law enforcement officials during this investigation. Today, we have seen our children, as young as 4 years old, held out in the cold, detained as their parents were questioned," the statement continued. "One teenage relative was pulled out of high school classes and interrogated without a lawyer, without his parents. These are not the actions that we expect from our justice system, and we hope to see better in the days and weeks to come. We also ask the press to respect our privacy and to give our family time to grieve this horrific development."

It's not clear who the children and the teenager referred to in the statement are.

PHOTO: Legal Director of CAIR New York speaks to the press after Akayed Ullah allegedly detonating an explosive in the New York City subway system, Dec. 11, 2017. WABC
Legal Director of CAIR New York speaks to the press after Akayed Ullah allegedly detonating an explosive in the New York City subway system, Dec. 11, 2017.

Ullah, originally from Bangladesh, told authorities he is self-inspired from ISIS online propaganda, sources said. Ullah told authorities no one directed him to carry out the attack and he talked about the plight of Muslims over the years, a law enforcement source said.

PHOTO: Port Authority closes down due to a pipe bomb explosion, Dec. 11, 2017, in New York City.xposedmagazine/Twitter
Port Authority closes down due to a pipe bomb explosion, Dec. 11, 2017, in New York City.

Ullah entered the United States from Bangladesh seven years ago on a family-based visa and has an address in Brooklyn, sources said. The explosive was assembled in his apartment, sources said.

Video of the incident, shot by a surveillance camera, shows commuters walking in the passageway when the explosion erupts. The camera screen filled with smoke as people scattered.

PHOTO: Police officers stand on a closed West 42nd Street near the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal after reports of an explosion in New York, Dec. 11, 2017.Mike Segar/Reuters
Police officers stand on a closed West 42nd Street near the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal after reports of an explosion in New York, Dec. 11, 2017.

Christina Bethea, 29, told ABC News she was in the passageway on her way to work next to the terminal when she heard a bang, saw smoke and ran.

"If I didn’t believe in God, I believe in God today," she said, adding that she commuted from Yonkers, New York.

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