The Bangladeshi immigrant convicted on terrorism charges Tuesday for detonating a pipe bomb in a New York City subway station last year explained that he was motivated by opposition to the Trump administration’s Middle East policy after the verdict was read.
“I was angry with Donald Trump because he says he will bomb the Middle East and then he will protect his nation,” Akayed Ullah told the judge in Manhattan federal court, according to the Associated Press.
Prosecutors argued that Ullah intended to kill as many commuters as possible when he detonated the explosive device on December 11, 2017, while Ullah’s defense attorneys maintained that he only intended to kill himself, citing his decision to detonate the bomb in an isolated corridor in the Port Authority subway station.
“It was about martyrdom, not suicide,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Crowley said during Tuesday’s proceedings.
Authorities confirmed that Ullah, 28, actively consumed ISIS propaganda online ahead of the attack and told investigators he “did it for the Islamic State” following his arrest. Ullah’s social-media history also included various taunts directed at the president. No one was seriously injured or killed in the attack.
Ullah’s admission comes after a spate of politically motivated violence, including the murder of eleven congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue by an anti-Semitic gunman who had expressed hatred toward President Trump and the mailing of more than a dozen explosive devices to various prominent Trump critics by a deranged Trump supporter.