Suspect in Times Square Bombing Leaves Trail of Mystery

Dec 11, 2017 · 270 comments
Christine (California)
What is so "mysterious" about mental illness?
Al (Idaho)
There have been more than a few commenters claim that the Vegas shooter Motivated by being a "Christian". Please provide any evidence of this. I am not aware of ANY motive having been found. the comparisons of the Muslim yesterday and the Vegas shooter are totally false. One appears to be a crazy killer the other a religiously motivated killer. Not to excuse any killer but there is a Big difference.
Carl Hultberg (New Hampshire)
It's American greed that brings people like this from other countries here, not any humanitarian impulse. These people are cheap labor. They are here to increase profits for businesses. Americans won't drive a cab for 16 hours to make $200, but people from Pakistan and Bangladesh will. Does it matter that these people have very little chance of assimilating or making it as Americans in America? Does it matter that they may be broken by the American economic system? it does when one of these totally dis-empowered people turns to terrorism. Now society has to pay the bill for the greed of business owners.
A physician (New Haven)
It is so sad to read so many of the comments, tropes written by people who are incapable of grasping the big picture. Yes, there are a handful of Muslim terrorists, some who immigrated, some who were born here. But most Muslims, probably 99+% of them (given that there are 1.8 billion of them on the planet) would not condone the alleged perpetrator's. More deaths due to terrorism on US soil since 9-11 have been committed by people growing up in the Christian faith, the Las Vegas and Charleston shooters, as examples. Then there are those bemoaning the immigration system, the reunification of extended families. Lord knows how many immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries came here to join distant family members. My grandfather who had only a grammar school education, left Russia because he know of family here. And then there are those who believe only the highly educated with advanced degrees should be permitted to enter the USA, as though they would never commit an act of terror. The Las Vegas shooter and the Unabomber were all highly educated terrorists. Anwar al-Awlaki, born here, an American citizen, had advanced degrees, as did his father, who immigrated here. When will people wake up to the fact that bad things happen and we need to put them into perspective, rather than condemning groups of people for the behavior of a few disgruntled individuals who express their feelings in acts of rage.
Al (Idaho)
Hey doc. If your implying that the Vegas shooter was motivated by his Christian upbringing you need to provide some evidence.
It is time for USA to redo its immigration laws.This issue should be non-partisan, with or without Trump.This guy came here and made a living here.Yet, he is full of hate for the land that gave him so much.There are too many common denominators between him and other attackers like the Tsarnaev brothers, Sayfullo Saipov,Faisal Shazad who chose the same path.People of a certain faith are crazy to immigrate to USA and make money.Thereafter they attempt to destroy the same very society that gave them the option of a better life.Suspicion or criticism of mass Islamic immigration should not be construed as racism.It is a reaction, the age old reflex called survival instinct.Many readers are talking about Muslim friends who are good Americans.However, almost all terror attacks in USA are carried out by Muslims.The bitter truth is that the Islamic enclaves popping up across North America shows that this community is finding it hard to fuse up with the rest of society.They live in densely populated Islamic communities which mimic the societal setups of their motherlands back home.They live in USA and yet remain totally insulated from it.This Bangladeshi man came from a LITTLE BANGLADESH right in the heart of New York.NYT may be surprised by what he did.I am not. That is why I am saying, please redo your immigration laws.You have to filter who you let in.That is the sane thing to do given the way how a particular group of migrants find it impossible to assimilate with American values.
kc (ma)
I think we're good with the 'diversity visas'. Enough already.
kc (ma)
Yeah, it's a total mystery how people like him end up living in our country. I guess US citizenship is cheap. An aunt and uncle can have their relatives come over? What the what? Where does this chain migration ever end? With people like this idiot being admitted? Time to break the chain.
WK Green (Brooklyn)
A suicide bomber who can't even kill himself. How lame. That must be the problem of using humans as weapons of mass destruction. It's a one time endeavor and it seems that the best and the brightest from the Muslim extremist world has already passed from this world to the next.
TomMoretz (USA)
It's absurd that losers like this man can just waltz into this country, while smart, creative, and generally productive individuals get stuck in bureaucrat hell. Trump's right about one thing - immigration laws in this country need to be fixed! I mean, not in the way that he wants to by building a wall, but you know, actually having sane rules that value proper qualifications over trying to meet some dumb diversity quota or whatever. This isn't the early 1900s, we no longer need poor people and all their relatives coming to this country. We need students, doctors, engineers, artists, writers, and scientists!
Jay Lincoln (NYC)
Why we would import these low skill workers to drive cabs when so many millions of our own lower skill citizens have lost their jobs due to offshoring or automation is beyond me.
Frank Walker (18977)
Just to put things in perspective, in 2013 there were 33,636 deaths due to "injury by firearms" in the US.
Al (Idaho)
Good point. We can blow off any more coverage of terror acts or even plane crashes I guess, as only a few hundred are killed in those too.
Lee Rose (Buffalo NY)
A sad incompetent man, assembled a pipe bomb from instructions he found on the Internet. He managed to hurt only himself and this is labeled a terrorist attack laid at door of US immigration policy. Video emerged this week of a police officer executing an unarmed American citizen in a motel hallway and a jury finds him not guilty. Who do we blame for that. It would seem we ordinary citizens are in more danger from the police than we are from the so called terrorists.
mavin (Rochester, My)
Yes Lee, he is a terrorist. Changing the subject wont alter the facts.
JFMACC (Lafayette)
The whole dream of a culture being composed of a single, pure ethnic group is a longstanding fantasy in Fascism. It fuels Steve Bannon's vision. It fuels Trump. Lucky for New Yorkers this pathetic man who was egged on by Trump's Jerusalem declaration was as inept as he was.
Rosalie Lieberman (Chicago, IL)
Ignorance, or biased thinking? He assembled the bomb before the Jerusalem announcement. If he alluded to that during his interrogation, his motivating reason was the war on ISIS. Why are you trying to "blame" it on Israel? An obsession that all the world's problems revolve around Jerusalem?
Rob (Brooklyn)
Do journalists realize that they no longer have any credibility? Most of the reading public read that headline and chuckle at the idiocy.
Stephen (Phoenix, AZ)
Relativism run amok. There is no difference between citizen and non-citizen. In fact, the very notion of citizenship is now proxy for racism. If the political class could dial back the cultural relativism and undying support for any and all migrants, we would not have Trump.
tennvol30736 (chattanooga)
Democrats say " bring us more of them". Can't accuse this guy, that would be bigotry.
Ken (NYC)
What will actually stop terrorists? When the West stops is capitalistic, rapacious practices in the countries where the terrorists come from. Sure, we can limit who come into this country, but that's like treating cancer with aloe.
Rob (Brooklyn)
We are not at war with Bangladesh.
TomMoretz (USA)
Yeah, look at those evil Western countries, building schools and hospitals and purifying water and connecting Internet cables and promoting women's health and education and training security forces to fight nutjobs who behead people. How awful! You're right - we should stop doing all those things, and just pack up our stuff and go home.
mavin (Rochester, My)
Here is another interesting fact "Let me get this correct, your son walks in a public place wearing a bomb and your outrage at the behavior of the police...too bad get over it!!!" the Sergeant's Benevolent Association tweeted, representing just a small sample of the public outcry directed at the family of Akayed Ullah.
BO Krause (Victoria, Texas)
Leave a trail of Mystery?.... when the headline should read he came to America through extended family visas and should have never been allowed to come here in the first place.
jeremyp (florida)
Every time a radical immigrant kills someone in a "terror" attack we hear from everybody who wants to stop or severely restrict immigration from Muslim countries. I think less than 12/13 attacks have taken place since 2001 and of 14 attackers 8 were born in this country. Some of these were converts. None of them were from countries Trump has tried to ban from immigrating. Deaths were a little over 100 and 49 of those from one (Orlando) attack. In the world 90-95% of terror victims are Muslims. The U.S. has killed more civilians in bombing attacks in Syria and Iraq in the last 2 years than died in 911. If all immigration from every country stopped for a decade it would not alter the probability of continuing isolated terror attacks.
Jp (Michigan)
You need to include 9/11
Irene (Vermont)
This article says Ullah lived with his family in Brooklyn, having emigrated to the U.S. in 2011. Another NYT article says "investigators also brought Mr. Ullah’s wife in for questioning on Tuesday and questioned her parents, with whom she was living in Dhaka, where Mr. Ullah was born." Why has he been living in Brooklyn for the past 6 years but married to someone in Dhaka? Is that a typical situation for immigrants? It doesn't seem to be a recipe for embracing the U.S. as a new home and becoming a productive member of society.
domenicfeeney (seattle)
'' The officials were unable to say if Mr. Ullah had driven a yellow cab or for a private service like Lyft or Uber. It was also unclear, they said, if he had his own car or drove for an employer.'' these should be easy answers for for ny state officials to find ..demand answers from lyft , uber and cab companies ,or check to see if he has registered a car and if its been financed by lyft/uber..after all the mayor has enough information to declare this a one man job ,how does he know that?
Former Republican (NC)
Why would anyone believe anything Ullah has to say ? Do you normally trust people who try to set off explosives ? I don't.
Alan Mass (Brooklyn)
The sad thing is that instead of a general reassessment of giving visas to relatives of US citizens we can expect our President to add all citizens of Bangladesh to his travel ban.
Marcus Aurelius (Terra Incognita)
Nope. But he may add Brooklyn...
This man it seems had no job and, seemingly, no plans for a future. So, he is angry at the world and looks for an excuse to punishing others instead of getting up and living. Lets add in easy access to guns by individuals with the maturity to be responsible owners of such, and access to information on easily made explosive devices. This is not about immigrants or religion - the Texas shootings, the Florida night club shooting, the Connecticut school house - all different types of perpetrators.
Asher B (brooklyn NY)
This guy seems to have had no desire to come to the United States. He was probably roped into coming by his extended family. Chain immigration is stupid. It is ironic that Dreamers who love this country are being threatened with deportation while hateful losers like this, who obviously detest America, are allowed in.
Apparently these disaffected Muslim immigrants are a time bomb. They all could be radicalized at different points in their mundane existence as they looking for meaning in the lives while we wait unbeknownst for a bad outcome. Fortunately there aren’t many or perhaps any smart bomb makers in their midst.
kc (ma)
So far.
Ron Bradley (Memphis)
Many other reports including CNN are saying that the police reported that Mr Ullah was motivated by Israel bombing of Gaza. What is the real truth about this claim ?
Priya (Philadelphia)
As a Bangladesh resident he should be ideally more angry towards Pakistan for 1971 attack that killed millions in one night. He is not even remotely imacted by Gaza. Somehow you dont see a muslim getting angry at another muslim nation for its atrocities (iraq/Irang, Pakistan/Balochistan) ... makes no sense to me.
Rosalie Lieberman (Chicago, IL)
The pipe bomb was set up days before the President made his announcement on Israel. Any Muslim radical will be angry about a host of things, but the timing, aside from what he confirmed, shows his main fixation is the war in ISIS. And if he was upset about the policy on Jerusalem, does that justify his behavior? America has a huge problem with North Korea, followed by Iran. Yet, you and others only "worry" about Muslim and Arab reactions to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I'm sure when Pyongyang launches another missile, it will include a tag saying this is retaliation for Trump's foreign policy.
Jp (Michigan)
The "real truth"? Who cares about this criminals machinations...
Desmond Savage (Yorktown, VA)
You know what is really interesting to me, a reader of the NYT's for 20+ yrs, is how attitudes towards Islam and immigration are changing. Negative, more critical views seem to be expressed more frequently and at an accelerating pace. No judgement, just saying.
You mean within the NYT, NYC, USA, world?
Philly (Expat)
We hear this every time, the terrorist's friends and/or family are shocked beyond belief that the terrorist could do such a thing, they were blind sided and could not see it coming. After all these attacks, and the same shocked responses from the family and/or friends, I do not believe it anymore, if I ever believed it in the first place. Our immigration policy is literally killing us. We saw this in SF, CA, we saw it 2x very recently in NYC and in many other cases. Chain migration and the visa diversity program are not benefitting Americans, but hurting us. We need an immigration policy that benefits Americans, and does not enable ISL and ISL lone wolf sympathisers to attack Americans. Most Americans instinctively see this, it is time for all branches of the government to see it, too.
mavin (Rochester, My)
Its worse than that. The family is complaining about how the NYPD are handling the investigation into their suicide bomber relative. Is this enough proof that muslims are using the liberals own tactics to bring their tribal violence to America?
Adam (Brooklyn, NY)
Millions of innocent, hard working immigrants have benefited from those programs and this country has benefited from these immigrants being here. We already have "extreme vetting" so it's not clear what your proposed solution is or how that would benefit this country. There are bad people in every population (like white American Christian guys with three names who go on shooting sprees at schools, malls, concerts, museums, offices and government buildings) so how about some real policy proposals to deal with the war of ideas we are in the middle of?
Honeybee (Dallas)
Adam, Chain migration is family-based and has nothing to do with extreme vetting. End lotteries and chain migration. Yesterday.
James Baca (Retired in Albuquerque)
A person labeled as a terrorist yesterday set off a feeble pipe bomb in NYC yesterday that caused minor injuries to bystanders and a serious injury to himself. Thankfully, no deaths. But of course, the media and President go postal over this incident. In the meantime, they ignored the fact that over 90 people were killed by gunfire in the US yesterday. A major terrorist called the NRA is responsible. And not a word.
mavin (Rochester, My)
Separate issue.
john (washington,dc)
They weren’t killed by gunfire. They were killed by people.
Earthling (Pacific Northwest)
Actually, the autopsy reports will corroborate that the deceased were killed by bullets, by gunshot wound. Bullets enter the body and rip arteries, destroy organs, cause uncontrollable internal bleeding, severe the brain stem, damage and stop the heart.
Austin (San Francisco, CA)
Funny to compare this article to today's WSJ piece. The WSJ also interviewed Butrico, who described Ullah as "unfriendly," and someone who would "always have an attitude." The WSJ also interviewed Butrico's cousin, who described Ullah as "always on edge." Contrast this to the "ordinary on the surface" lead in the NY Times piece.
Bill M (California)
The suspect may be living an ordinary immigrant life but that is the whole point: The ordinary immigrant is twisting his mind with jihadist talk from Saudi Arabia and IsIs and others with whom we are great friends as they do us in. Seems rather tragically foolish but we go on in bed with the ISIS crowd.
Alex E (elmont, ny)
It looks like law agencies in this country are clueless. This guy bought most of the martials to make bomb, visited foreign countries several times, need to pay rent and other necessities for living. Where does this guy get all these money? Somebody is financing his operations. Why don't our law agencies can't find and take actions against people who take online classes from terrorist sites? Why do America bring people from these countries for attacking us?
kc (ma)
Alex E, You are asking some really good questions here. Why indeed.
MDB (Indiana)
When will some learn that simply closing off our country won’t automatically make us safe, or safer? Our foreign policy and attitudes evoke anger, and by extension — in some — radicalism. This can come from an immigrant, or it can fester in a native-born or first-generation child of an immigrant, or in any permutation of a family tree. Political ideology and societal perceptions transcend physical borders.
Annie Kelly (Connecticut)
Why is everyone taking this at face value? What a convenient validation this is of Trump’s policies. Conveniently no lives were lost. Or does this so neatly fit into today’s narrative that no ulterior motive is considered?
Veronica Newton (Brooklyn)
As a resident of Kensington, I'd like to share that in January 2017, residents banded together and declared it a "hate free zone." After living here for three years, I've observed a community that loves and protects each other. This is one of the most diverse zip codes in the country, and is usually a peaceful place.
john (washington,dc)
Apparently not
Jp (Michigan)
" 'He was a good guy,' said Mohammad Yousuf, a cabdriver who prayed with Mr. Ullah at the mosque." 'Nuff said.
Ralph (Long Island)
That's right, JP. He belongs to a particular religion and attends the house of worship. Therefore some guy from Michigan thinks he is obviously a danger to society. Funny thing: I feel exactly the same way about observant fundamentalist so-called Christians from places like Mississippi, Alabama and, you guessed it, Michigan. Now stop taking our tax dollars, fend for yourselves, and please, please stop offering your unwanted wit and wisdom or any other "help", thanks.
Jp (Michigan)
I was referring to the "Good guy" label. Think Virginia, white supremacists, confederate statues, protest, Trump and "they're nice people". Get it?
Iver Thompson (Pasadena, CA)
How many fire trucks and police cars descend on car crashes each day in Manhattan? Regardless of where the driver is from. The mystery of this is far more interesting than what actually happened, which really was very little relatively. Nothing breaks monotony like hysteria. It seems terrorists realzed that a long time ago.
They must have a very large response until they can be relatively sure there are not more participants with multiple bombs - a Qaeda specialty. Yes that's why it's called terrorism - it hopes to instill terror.
Farqel (London)
That this criminal was in the US only because of "chain migration" (a cousin already in the US?) should tell Americans all they need to know about how stupid and outdated the current immigration policy is. Europeans (especially in the UK) are starting to understand how vital immigration reform is--and how idiotic it is to have the UNHCR, Amnesty International, people smugglers and other pandering international do-gooders decide who comes into your country. Change these outdated laws in the US and drop this phony immigration vs. xenophobia argument puffed up by a lying liberal press.
Rob (Davis)
perhaps you should read something about the subject of immigration from a government website first. do you really think that the UN gets final say on who comes to the US. you may also want to rethink the idea that people smugglers will follow any law... Pretty strong reaction about US policy for someone in "London".
Al (Idaho)
London and most of Europe are seeing the very real short comings of immigration policies based on simply increasing diversity or bringing in family members of people who shouldn't be here in the first place.
Kindle Gainso (New York)
Time is proving time & again that immigration needs to be merit based & visa programs like diversity visa are very detrimental for US. People like him come to US without any skills, and then struggle everyday, and then become disgruntled at the system. They are right to be mad at the system, but the method they usually choose is plain wrong.
Neil (New York)
At the root of the problem is multiculturalism and cultural relativism. Once westerners started doubting the value (and sometimes even superiority) of their own culture, things started to go down. Because then, the culture of anyone admitted to this country through diversity visa or family reunion visa, became irrelevant. As long as the immigrant has a pulse and can figure out the immigration system, s/he can get in. (The exception seems to be the tough Australian immigration system.) Oh, and I say this as some who came here from Iran. Even though Iranians have done no terrorist acts in the West in recent decades, I see that the profile of Iranians arriving these days is very different than years ago. Previously, there was some familiarity and admiration for the West and its culture. Nowadays, I run in Iranians in NYC that I never ran into in Tehran. They are unprepared for this culture and instead of flourishing here end up feeling alienated. Americans, too, have become less welcoming to foreigners.
Name (Here)
No one liked the Romans by the end of the empire, and I'm pretty sure the Romans weren't too fond of the Vandals either.
MAH (Boston)
I am sorry that has been your experience. Of course, relations between our two countries are not very good.
Cherry (NYC)
Why don't we have surveillance in mosques and communities anymore? Oh yeah, some folks thought it wasn't politically correct. No let's just have an attack every couple of weeks. Do innocent people have to get killed, injured, just for the sake of not offending anyone?
Bonnie (manhattan)
Has nothing to do with politically correct and more to do with the cost and the fact that the surveillance over the last several years of mosques yielded exactly zero terrorists. It's more effective to conduct surveillance based on reasonable information than just mass-surveillance, which uses up resources and distracts officers from actual threats.
john (washington,dc)
You probably ask DeBlasio.
MartinC (New York)
Why, in 2017, is MTA surveillance footage like something out of the 1960s. Ridiculous.
Jan (NJ)
A prime example of what happens when liberals demand and let everyone in. Glad to hear the lottery system will end along with other programs. We have no intention of giving away our country to low lives.
ERA (New Jersey)
The "lone wolf" theories are out in force as expected, and it will only take a couple days to find out that this terrorist was surfing the web for months on Jihadist websites and had countless friends and family who were well aware of his radicalization which surely didn't happen overnight. One thing we do know for sure, is that this killer was not living in a cave and was likely not very private about his love of ISIS and the Palestinian Jihadist cause.
William Plumpe (Redford, MI)
I agree but exactly what do you do? Police the internet and shut down any jihadist rhetoric? Free speech opponents would cry "Foul". Target specific groups based on race, ethnicity or religion for "heightened surveillance"? Shades of Orwell's 1984. Ask internet providers and social websites to be more stricter about what they allow? A good idea but unlikely to happen because it could create a legal minefield. Put police on every corner in vulnerable cities like NYC and LA? Besides making major urban areas look like armed camps very costly and never really proven effective. Increase the budget for domestic counterterrorism activity? A possible problem with due process and targeting but probably the best thing to do even if it might be distasteful. In the face of terror and chaos sometimes some rights might have to be temporarily abrogated but you just can't have security in an extremely perilous world without some rights being restricted. Remember we are at war with terrorists and the rules of war may well apply.
Concerned Citizen (West coast)
Between Democrats who support unfettered immigration and Republicans who refuse to put any gun control laws in place, I'm amazed I'm still alive.
Jake (New York)
I’ve learned that this man was in America solely because he was related to someone. Why is it harder for PhDs and other educated individuals to get into America than someone whom happens to be related to an earlier immigrant? Immigration should make our nation stronger. It should not be used to let in people, regardless of education level, simply because they’re the needed diversity candidate or because a family member is a citizen.
Barry Frauman (Chicago)
Mr. Feuer, So many crimes are surprises.
Neil (Brooklyn)
I feel uncomfortable calling this looser a terrorist. Bin Laden, Nadal (remember him?) They were terrorists in that they had a political agenda and used acts of heinous and cowardly violence to further their political goals. This guy blew himself up in front of some Christmas posters. A "radical" a "fanatic," maybe even "someone with an un-diagnosed mental illness," would be more appropriate. Sure, charge him with terrorism- but lets not give him that distinction.
Paul (Hampton, VA 23666)
To the Dems /Liberals: time to overhaul and redo the immigration policy in keeping with the times to better protect the citizens. To the Repubs / Conservatives: time to overhaul and redo the gun policy in keeping with the times to better protect the citizens. Deal ?
SB (ny)
I don't t understand why the NSA/CIA/Whomever doesn't screen and destroy the terrorist online network that recruits these young men. There are no terrorist cells here, they are all recruited online. We fly drones and kill terrorists abroad, why can't we shut down their websites as well to limit their communication with our citizens?
usarmycwo (Texas)
I was thinking the same thing earlier today. When the internet was young and needed to be nourished, society was hands off. Today Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and other companies are the wealthiest in the world. They can tell with uncanny accuracy what movie I might like, but can't shut down or (better yet) help authorities ensure evil isn't promulgated over their property?
Name (Here)
that's playing whack-a-mole, so they watch them instead.
Priya (Philadelphia)
The statement from laywer "We are heartbroken by the violence that was targeted at our city today and by the allegations being made against a member of our family,” is so paradoxical... I understand the first part of the sentence and I wish that the statement had ended there. The later sentence contradicts the first one. As an immigrant myself, who struggled to get permanent residence even after having PhD in US IV-league university, I believe that the family based visa system is bringing all sorts of people to this country and causing more problems when people with PhDs who could help this country are turned away. This is sad and wrong.
MH (<br/>)
Having a PhD doesn't make you a better person. It just means you had opportunity that many people around the world don't have. Having a PhD doesn't mean you will actually solve any of the worlds problems if even contribute to society in any more of a meaningful way than people who don't. Your comment is rather discriminatory and if that was your intent , then well done.
Here (There)
Skills-based immigration brings in people who were educated or trained at other countries' expense. If you do not do that, then you bring in people who will be maintained indefinitely at our expense. I like skills-based immigration. So do most countries.
Charlie Reidy (Seattle)
I don't see any discrimination in the comment. The idea that the country should select the best people who will make the greatest contribution to the country in talent, skills and ability to pay taxes should be given preference is only common sense. This is how all other comparable societies deal with immigration, including Canada. Some exceptions for refugees must be granted, but the focus of immigration into this country should be on those who add value to our economy, regardless of their religion or country of origin.
HC45701 (Virginia)
Ullah's profile as a normal, "good guy" doesn't seem so uncommon among Islamic terrorists. It reminds me of what Sam Harris says, that bad ideas are worse than bad people. Bad ideas can spread and infect those who would otherwise be decent; Islamic fervor fueled Ullah's act, as it has many before him. When it comes to Islamism, there's no doubt to me that America is involved in a war of ideas. I hope we have the courage to wage it.
We will lose that war.
SS (San Francisco)
Absolutely! Consider Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. The former are Muslim majority and a greater source for terrorism than India, even with a sizable Muslim population residing in India. Bad ideas infect people who are genetically otherwise identical to their relatively peaceful neighbors. This is equally true in Nigeria and in Indonesia, showing that the influence of bad ideas transcend race. This war has to be fought just as much in the mind as it is with the body. Political correctness and knee-jerk liberalism handicap this battle of ideas; which is secular humanism, liberty and equality versus intolerance, tyranny and inequality.
ann (Seattle)
Another terrorist entered the country through chain migration - the one who, in the late November of 2016, deliberately drove into people on the Ohio State campus and then jumped out of his car to slash them with a knife. Abdul Artan was a Somali immigrant who had been living in Pakistan when our country let him move here to join his family as a permanent lawful resident. Somalia, Pakistan, and other Islamic countries have very different cultures than our own. Abdul Artan attended a community college when he first moved here, where he was befriended and helped in his studies by Americans. And then, he had been accepted as a transfer student at Ohio State. Despite his friendships, his family, and education, he, too, became radicalized “on-line”. We do not need an endless supply of immigrants. We do not have enough jobs for our own citizens. Our continued acceptance of huge numbers of new immigrants, just so they can live with their relatives, is proving to be more of a threat than a boon to our country.
What you say makes sense but the radical left will not listen to you...until the terrorism effects them personally. Then it will be too late. Until then they will do all sorts of mental dances to try to make false equivalencies to gun murders, drunk driving, you name it. But they are wrong and we will all pay for it.
SS (San Francisco)
When did you hear of Ethiopian or Indian (non-Muslim) terrorists? Or Chinese (again, non-Muslim) or Korean or Vietnamese terrorists? There are many immigrants whose cultures allow them to peacefully assimilate and contribute significantly to our society. And there are others who instead try to hold on to their cultures, even if it is antagonistic to the freedoms enshrined in ours. Instead of assimilating, they form enclaves where they can continue to live as they did in their country of origin, and therefore fail to participate in the American melting pot that served this country well. A common thread to the immigrants who fail to assimilate is invariably Islam.
Tucson Geologist (Tucson)
Whenever these bombings occur, and the press reports the number that were injured, they are probably unaware that some people will have ringing in their ears for the rest of their life. If they have not had that experience before, they might not self-identify as injured. But after months and years of ringing ears, they will come to understand that they have something that might be called central nervous system damage. Also, the bombing in the tunnel should have injured more people's hearing than if it was in a wide-open space. This issue also applies to everyone near the targets of bombs and missiles anywhere in the world. Efforts to kill terrorists among civilians must have damaged the hearing of huge numbers of people. Just a suggestion that reporters consider this issue.
P.Ferns (NYC)
People in collectivist societies are conditioned to social control. Families face real consequences for the actions of its members. For example, if one member acts dishonorably, say steals, the consequences faced by the family are real. For example, it will be difficult for the family members to find suitable partners for marriage (note: most marriages are arranged marriages). Yet, when they come to this country, we treat them through the individualistic lens and hence the family is no longer held responsible. Many of these terrorists live with their families and the family is very much enmeshed in the situation (although they plead innocence). What if one would send the family of these terrorists back to their country along with the terrorist? I believe it would be a powerful deterrent to these terrorists as they would have to think of the consequences of their actions and to the family itself to continue taking responsibility for their members as they did back in the country they came from.
usarmycwo (Texas)
Agree, but fat chance.
James (DC)
"What if one would send the family of these terrorists back to their country.." - P.Ferns At least the 'cousin' who sponsored this man through 'chain migration' should be held somewhat accountable. In other fields a sponsor mentors and supports the recipient.
Al (Idaho)
Make it part of immigration like the people who are supposedly responsible financially for people they sponsor.
Al (Idaho)
Here's a mystery. Why does this country continue to import people who have no qualifications to live in a secular democracy other than they know somebody who already lives here who got in from an arbitrary lottery? Many have little to no education, language or work skills. We have 325 million people. The third most populous country. We are the most diverse country on earth now. We do not need any more people no matter where they come from. Rather than importing people completely unsuited to live here and all their relatives, we should be concentrating on turning this country into a place where those who are here now can succeed and reducing our population to a long term sustainable level.
Ralph (Long Island)
When did this country become secular?
Al (Idaho)
Not always adhered to but certainly on the books is something about separation of church and state in the constitution.
Dontbelieveit (NJ)
It's been a puzzling phenomenon for ages: the acceptance of the other from both ends, the incoming immigrant efforts to adaptat and the locals to assimilate the newcomer. In the case of followers of Islam, it has made me reflect for decades the reasons behind a Muslim to leave his or her familiar surroundings (due to some disappointments?) just to move to a completely different country only to disagree with its ways to the point of wanting to destroy it. It's not the same experience for an Irish called Tom Jones to come to the west than for an individual who needs 15 minutes to spell right his name, not to mention walk around with a different attire and looks. Given time, frustration and even rage settle in and you read the results almost everyday. So again: why leave a place you hate so much just to another you even hate the most? I suspect that when the authorities find the answer, we'll be closer to a solution.
Drspock (New York)
Mr. Ullah told a police official that he traveled overseas several times in the last five years and was radicalized on line. But did he travel? And was he radicalized by that travel? Maybe we will learn more in time, but these are significant facts, especially in light of Trump's travel restrictions directed at Muslim's. It also shouldn't be too difficult to trace Mr. Ullah's on line activity. Again this is significant because we are about to enter a period where net neutrality may end and everyones internet access may be affected. Let's not allow this one man and his lawless act become the justification for more restrictions against all of us, in the name of security.
Lala (France)
trial, if needed, and then onto a plan to Bangladesh, one way. no hospital, no trial if possible, simply put him on a plane with no return. save the money for people deserving it.
Greg M. (Evanston)
Mr. Ullah never should have been let in the country and it's a great example of our awful chain immigration policy. Clearly Ullah hates the West and Americans, finds radical Islamic ideology appealing, and is willing to kill innocents over it. Pointing this out is not bigotry or racism or xenophobia. Our immigration system, the most generous in the world, must be revamped to prevent his kind from entering and victimizing anyone else.
Steve43 (New York, NY)
It's the same old story- religious twenty something year old, 'unassuming,' limo/taxi/truck driver/unemployed, living with relatives, immigrant from a Muslim country, and apparently, an all around loser who wants to do something big. It's a shame that these guys just don't go to some quite uninhabited place, and just blow themselves up into smithereens. No name, no story, no publicity, and no expense. But, that is not going to happen. We will see his picture, learn his- address, occupation, hear from his relatives, politicians, bloggers, pundits... There will be an expensive trial, an appeal, and a costly lifetime room and board in prison, courtesy of the tax payer. All this because in Andy Warhol's words "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
We need to strike a balance between the hatred and fearmongering of the right and the victim-blaming and apologists on the left trying to invent psychiatric disorders that someone "caused" him to try and murder innocent strangers. It's important to protect religious freedom and freedom speech but at the same time we have to call a spade a spade and acknowledge that a disproportionate amount of terror attacks seem to be tied to this ideology. So no, we cannot and should not prevent all Muslims from entering the country, but a much higher level of scrutiny and surveillance does seem both necessary and warranted. And it's on the Muslim community to act in good faith. It's hard to believe that all of these terrorists were radicalized to this point and there wasn't any other person who had an inkling that something was up. That would be quite the coincidence. It's truly maddening to hear a CAIR spokesman describe this incident as "allegations being made against a member of our family." WHAT? Allegations? Does CAIR not believe a terrorist attack happened? Do they think this guy was just some passerby and that a pipe bomb just happened to fall into his clothes tie itself to his body and then detonate, "accidentally?" Take some responsibility for the actions of this "member of your family."
patty smith (<br/>)
Nice post. Thanks, agree 100%.
usarmycwo (Texas)
You said it perfectly, thanks. Now, if only some of our political leaders and some of our major media (yes, NYT, that's you) would understand it.
Leah (PA)
This man was in the country for six years with apparently no criminal record or family ties to terrorism. I don't see how immigration could've foreseen six years in the future he'd be radicalized over a process of five to six months. The main issue is that it's very easy to get radicalized by any number of groups over the internet without anyone in real life being any the wiser. It's impossible to monitor the entire internet. We can possibly ask more from major companies like Twitter or Facebook to try to screen out material by Islamist or alt-right extremists, but that's still difficult considering the amount of material.
njglea (Seattle)
This is not true. “Nothing surprises me anymore today,” Mr. Butrico said. “You don’t know who your neighbors are. Can’t trust nobody anymore.” It is not true. The Con Don and his International Mafia Robber Baron/Radical religion buddies would love us to believe it is true. They use these attacks to ramp up fear-anger-hate-violence-LIES, LIES,LIES so they can start WW3 and continue to rob us blind. Please, Good People of America and the world - do NOT let it work. We must NOT put our heads in the sand and pretend everything will be okay. WE THE PEOPLE are the only ones who can and must stop them NOW. Fight like hell to preserve the United States of America - and world - WE have created since WWII ended.
Queensgrl (NYC)
@ nglea, sorry it is true 100%.........unless you are able to tell us that you know everything there is to know about the people who live in your nabe right down to what they have for dinner every night and what color socks they wear. Truth is we don't know.
Richard Luettgen (New Jersey)
Scanning these comments, there emerges a strong theme of contempt for the normalization of terrorists. We have enough domestic destructives to worry about, we don't need to import them en masse. And when you look at those who are either foreign-born or U.S. citizens who are radicalized, either in religious settings or on the Internet, their names tend not to sound like Axel Johannsson, from a Swedish Lutheran Community, they tend to have at least one Muhammad in their name. By this persistent tendency to normalize the backgrounds of such people and call any Eureka! moment that notices what binds them all as "racist", we risk a general tectonic reaction against all here who share such backgrounds. There's nothing "normal" about attempts to kill innocents for some religious reason, and it's not Swedish Lutherans who set off pipe bombs in subways seeking to kill non-Muslims. We have a Muslim problem in America, and we need to work a LOT more effectively, with the Muslim community and without it, to effectively address that problem.
Barbara (D.C.)
Muhammad is a name more common than John, so to attempt to de-normalize it requires demonizing tens of millions of innocents. It's probably the world's most popular name.
mavin (Rochester, My)
It takes both sides literally working together to breakdown natural trust issues that these terrorists have created. I see the media portraying muslims with an attitude, demanding rights. Why isn't the Muslim community doing more to show they want to integrate into their community and not just create enclaves?
Marie (Luxembourg)
I had kind of the same thoughts when reading this article. This guy had the chance that millions would like to have: emigrate to the US (or Europe);and this is the thank you. Never mind, that it is probably as difficult for Ms Johansson to move to the US than it is for Mr Mohammed from a completly different world and a religion that makes it extremly difficult to integrate him.
Chris (La Jolla)
As an immigrant, the concepts of chain migration and anchor babies are quite ridiculous, and mostly part of an era long past. The concept of immigration diversity is part of a politically correct philosophy gone insane. Illegal immigration has always been, of course, illegal, despite what the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles say. Perhaps it's time to look at these in a hard light.
Gnirol (Tokyo, Japan)
Many immigrant families, among the tens of millions of people who came through Ellis Island, came in dribs and drabs, knowing that once Dad established himself in America, the elder kids, and finally the wife and little kids could make the trip from Fiume, or Trieste to NYC and then on to wherever else. It was not considered politically correct to do so. It was considered morally correct for the US government to reunite families. Plenty of immigrants back in the day did not succeed in getting good work for all the reasons lots of people can't get good work. They often turned to crime, sometimes violent crime. How many organized crime members in the first half of the 20th century had mothers who were members of the DAR? How many deaths resulted from the activities of those immigrant gang members of many nationalities all around the country, compared to foreign terrorists on our soil since the measures taken after 9/11? If the US government had not allowed the kids, the siblings of Italian immigrants, just using the most famous crime boss of the time as an example, to enter the USA because Al Capone was the son of Italian immigrants, even given the havoc he wreaked, would the country be better or worse off than it is today? Should the US government have restricted Italian immigration by labeling all Italians with an organized crime black mark, just because some relatives of Italian (or any other nationality's) immigrants became a serious danger to the citizens of our country?
Crusader Rabbit (Tucson, AZ)
You may well be 100% correct about your analysis of US immigration policy. But your comment has really nothing to do with the bombing. Yes, he was an immigrant...and yes, he also wore underwear (at least I assume he did). The immigrant and bombing correlation involve near zero causation; the religious, emotionally disturbed and bombing correlation involve a high degree of causation.
Eric Blare (LA)
Reform is worthwhile; your bias is not.
srwdm (Boston)
He looks so calm and peaceful there, strapped on that carrier. We were very fortunate the pipe bomb malfunctioned BUT— How do we prevent (or minimize the risk of) another, more adept, pipe bomb terrorist in the subways during rush hour? Yes, everyone alert and on guard, but big suitcases, backpacks, bags . . . MAYBE the answer lies in his EYES—and with the Imam at his local mosque with whom he was quite close. The online material and propaganda is always there—but the transformation has to occur in those eyes.
Amoret (North Dakota)
"...with the Imam at his local mosque with whom he was quite close" UNTIL he became radicalized online. Then he dropped the connection - presumably because the Imam did NOT share those beliefs.
Here (There)
Amoret: Did the responsibility of the imam cease at that point? I argue it did not, he should have contacted the authorities. If the Muslim community expects to be taken seriously over the long haul, it must police its own or accept that the FBI will step in.
Mark (New England)
Politicians pay lip service to not letting terrorist acts change our lives. “Go back to work.” At the same time they stoke tribalism and fear mongering by spending trillions on an unjustified war in Iraq, an immigration ban for Muslims, stealing the Palestinian capital and giving it to it’s enemy Israel, and list goes on. All of which are effective recruitment tools for terrorist organizations, apparent proof that America is out to destroy Islam. I have heard a cynical explanation for this – that we need to have a low grade war going on at all times to constantly feed the Military Industrial Complex in order to keep troops well trained in the event of a real war with North Korea or China. While the Pentagon proposes ideas like this as cover to camouflage their real goal which is to continually grow their annual budget along with returns for shareholders of military stocks, we aren’t helping by electing tribalist fear mongers to office. Essentially, there’s no great conspiracy here, we’re just dumb.
Vicky (Boston)
No one stole the Palestinian capital and gave it to anyone. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for over 3,000 years. But then again, I also believe that American policy is NOT out to destroy Islam - but it is directed at rooting out terrorism. Americans have different ideas about how to accomplish that end, and I believe some Americans are more concerned about lining their pockets (e.g., MIC) above all else. But people and policies are not the same; and the means of carrying out those policies will differ.
Crusader Rabbit (Tucson, AZ)
Interesting that the deeply disturbed and borderline psychotic often use religious (usually Islamic) imagery as background noise for their mayhem. And no one ever uses the language of secular humanism while blowing stuff up. Makes you wonder what music the world should be listening to.
Michael Nunn (Traverse City, MI)
Mr. Rabbit, I don't know what music you are listening to, but there are plenty of non-muslim disturbed and borderline psychotic people to go around, as recent mass murders in Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Connecticut, etc. have shown. As for the language of secular humanism being used to explain acts of wanton murder, actually, one need look no further than Capitol Hill and the Pentagon's legal justifications for the use of military drone aircraft to perform multiple sanctioned killings - absent any pretense of due process - inside the borders of sovereign states. Perhaps we should give a listen to John Lennon's "Imagine."
Andrew L (New York)
Were the Soviets not "secular humanists?"
Crusader Rabbit (Tucson, AZ)
The Pentagon and Capitol Hill are governed far more by religious nut cases than secular humanists. I believe we have a total of one professed non-religious legislator in the Congress.
R.P. (Bridgewater, NJ)
There's no "mystery." The west is at war with radical Islamic jihadists. This is the latest attack. If you want to know the "reasons," read the doctrines of jihad and martyrdom that the attackers themselves say they rely upon. This has nothing to do with hatred against immigrants or hatred against Muslims as people. It has to do with a significant portion of adherents to Islam acting upon its literal teachings. How much longer do we have to put up with the dumb "gee, what could have been his possible motivation?" reaction to every jihadist attack?
tiddle (nyc)
Almost every organized religions - yes, even Buddhists, just ask the Rohingya - has their radical elements. More interestingly, it's almost always the religions that define their "god" as the one true God, that wreck the most havoc. Yet, among those like Christianity and Judaism, I don't see the kind of hatred as intense as the Islam fanatics. Why is that? Somehow, I have this feeling that most of these fanatics really are NOT truly religious. Looking back at the profiles of so many religious terrorists, a large majority (if not all) of them do not even practice their faith. Yet, the one common thread that seems to bind them all, is the (very) low level of education that these mostly young men see to have. When you are ignorant, you are easily manipulated. And this is not strictly limited to young men from the Middle East. We're seeing the same thing coming from ultra-conservative rights, and neo-Nazi skinhead groups too. As a country, perhaps the one thing we could improve on in immigration policy, is the litmus tests when someone applies to come here. As to those who are born in US, the very uneven (and often low) quality of public education across different states, cities, and towns, has really helped bred ignorant voters, even the impressionable ones susceptible to getting themselves radicalized online.
TrungTr (Fairfax, VA)
I look suspiciously at dark skinned men with a long beard. I dont know what can be done about it. We also should monitor all the mosques. The Muslim community should go above and beyond their way to tip the authorities. In other terms, I hold them responsible. I would like to see all immans talk about peace otherwise I also hold them accountable. In ancient times, in certain parts of the world, every member of the suspect's family will be heavily prosecuted
maisany (NYC)
These are not "ancient times". We're in the 21st century.
Michael Nunn (Traverse City, MI)
Fortunately, Mr. TrungTr, We no longer live in ancient times, but it seems a growing proportion of citizens would like to return there. If that is your point, I suggest you reconsider.
Amoret (North Dakota)
"We also should monitor all the mosques." "But Mr. Yousuf, the cabdriver, said he had not seen Mr. Ullah at the mosque in the past five or six months."
Anthony Taylor (West Palm Beach FL)
As I read this I try to remain, above all, logical. But, sadly, the problem is all down to religion. I understand that, but when I read others' comments about sending the perpetrator to Guantanamo, or expelling his family from the country, I cannot help wondering about Israel's policy of demolishing the houses of terrorists' family members. Does punishing extended family achieve anything? I think not. Retribution is a base emotion and panders to the ignorant. There are already laws in place in this country to deal with family members, if they can be shown to sympathize or help terrorism perpetrators. My solution is simple and really would work. Put religion back where it belongs; in houses of worship and peoples' homes. Get it out of the public square and the legal realm, where it collides with logic daily. The simple fact that almost all religions believe their supreme being is the only true one and all others are impostors (or worse!) is the single biggest obstacle to societal harmony the world over. Some countries just manage this quandary better than others. The one indisputable fact is that those places where religion impinges most on the daily lives of its citizens are the ones that have the most regressive governments and the least tolerance of dissent; hello Alabama!
Kathleen Warnock (New York City)
Wow. What a photo. Provided by a city employee? If it were taken by one of your photographers, it would be Pulitzer-worthy.
tiddle (nyc)
I would not dream of it, giving a Pulitzer to a picture of a proven terrorist, thereby elevating his celebrity status. Get real.
Horace (Detroit)
NYT should not put his picture in the paper. Why glorify him and give him notoriety that he seeks by trying to kill people?
I sympathize with your point, but I think the Times is right to publish it. First, it's newsworthy, and they have a responsibility not to censor the news. But perhaps more importantly, Law Enforcement needs answers. It's possible that someone recognizes him and comes forward with information or a tip. Although he could be theoretically recognized by his name, there's a possibility that he might be known to some people only by his first name or a nickname or that he may have online acquaintances who know him by a username not his real name.
Michael Nunn (Traverse City, MI)
Horace, What makes you so certain jihadists are "seeking notoriety?" If they succeed, they are dead, so where is the benefit of public attention? I think the picture is compelling. To look into the eyes of a failed suicide bomber, what is one to find there? I don't see jihadist rage in this man's eyes: I see resignation and confusion, perhaps. To me, what is, and should be, glorified is the fact that this man, regardless of what he has tried to do - or in what belief he used to justify his act of terror - he will have his injuries cared for, and he will be given due process in the prosecution of his criminal acts, by the very society he wished to destroy. Now THAT is what has made America great.
Jp (Michigan)
@Michael Numm: "What makes you so certain jihadists are "seeking notoriety?" If they succeed, they are dead, so where is the benefit of public attention?" There's no benefit to it but there is terror. However your reasoning assumes his thought process is logical and not driven by hate. "To look into the eyes of a failed suicide bomber, what is one to find there? I don't see jihadist rage in this man's eyes: I see resignation and confusion, perhaps." You refuse to see the hate.
Melnbourne (Lewes De)
Seems like a bunch of folks are upset, wonder if they showed the same emnity when discussing the Las Vegas shooter, or the guy who killed 5 Dallas cops, or the 49 people murdered in Orlando, or the 90+ US citizens lost daily to gunfire? Just wondering.
Clem (NYC)
People are just using this incident as an excuse for more bigotry.
max (NY)
Yes, but different. There’s an enmity against criminals, and a different kind of enmity against people who hate our country and are part of an organized movement to destroy it. Why is that hard to understand?
George S (New York, NY)
We - are every other country - will always have to contend with criminals within its own borders. But do we need to import more of them? While both can and do commit dreadful crimes, we are stuck with the native born but do not need to import the foreign variety. Pretty easy to figure out.
This guy might have some psychiatric issues. But the main stream media have defined for us that muslims cannot have psychiatric problems, they can be terrorists only. and if someone criticizes Israel, that person is anti-Semitic.
tiddle (nyc)
Oh, please. Explaining about a terrorist with mental issues is way too easy to let him off the hook. If you are so into psychiatry, perhaps you should have advocated the extra requirements to screen for ailments like psychosis when immigrants have to be screened for before they would get approved to relocate here.
Jason (GA)
It is offensive to the conscience that the New York Times invariably follows every terrorist event with an article that head-scratches over the alleged ordinariness of the attacker. His motives are always (ALWAYS) a mystery. And yet this country has never experienced a sustained series of terrorist attacks perpetrated by Jews or Lutherans or Buddhists. This is not to say Muslims are somehow naturally predisposed toward bloodletting, but to pretend that Dhiren Barot, Shahawar Matin Siraj, Abdul Kadir, Abdul Rahman, Faisal Shahzad, Farooque Ahmed, Rezwan Ferdaus, Sami Osmakac, Amine El Khalifi, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, Addulhakim Muhajid Muhammad, Nidal Hasan, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnev, Zaim Farouq Abdul-Malik, Nadir Hamid Soofi, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, Rizwan Farook, Tashfeen Malik, Omar Mateen, and many others could have just as easily been radicalized at the local Presbyterian church is indicative that one is insane, ignorant, or insidious. The Times relishes the opportunity to praise Americans for their tendency to return to daily life, even after their compatriots have been stabbed, shot, and exploded. Certainly, there is something to be said for such resiliency; but there is also something nauseating about having to hear that praise-turned-banality uttered for the umpteenth time. At some point, it ceases to be encouraging and instead becomes a life-draining anesthetic.
Richard Luettgen (New Jersey)
Really a GOOD comment.
Barbara (D.C.)
And where was the Las Vegas shooter radicalized? The headline points to the fact that people who knew him found him to be ordinary. The NYT reported the same about Paddock. We often hear the same about sick-o serial killers - people often did not suspect them as they went about leading what looked like ordinary lives.
Kate M (Los Angeles)
Of course it's not a mystery. We are at war in the Middle East and have been for some time. If we weren't, these losers would probably be playing video games in their mother's basements, dreaming up some other kind of anarchy -but most likely not going beyond the dreaming stage.
Professor Ice (New York)
I am an immigrant myself... but chain migration and diversity visa lottery have never ever made any sense to me. The reasons they were setup in the first place were idiotic, and to a large degree racist. They have passed their time. As far as ending domestic Jihad. We must use chain prosecution. The Mosque where this, and previous, Jihadi pray must be investigated and its imam prosecuted for hate speech. Anyone quoted as saying that this Jihadi was a good guy, probably espouses similar beliefs and belongs in Jail.
nomad127 (New York/Bangkok)
@Professor Ice Chain migration and diversity visa lottery programs were set up in an effort to give Democrats a permanent majority.
Lynn (New York)
reply to nomad: Ridiculous, although that's the Republican propaganda line to justify their cruelty in seeking to exclude the parents of immigrants. "Chain" migration has been a part of America's history from the beginning of European settlement here---immigrants working to earn enough to bring cousins, siblings etc. over.
Name (Here)
Rather than prosecution of some nebulous hate speech, it should be prosecuted as one would for yelling "fire" in a crowded theater (when no fire is present).
Susan (PA)
He may well have been radicalized via the internet, but when it comes down to the trigger, the 3 clues will probably be: 1) he set off the bomb within a few blocks of a jobsite where he had worked; 2) neighbors say there was big fight at his home Sunday night, and 3) another separate address associated with him.
Clearwater (Oregon)
The hate is so palpable in many of these comments. Is it any wonder this world produces people who do these things? Check our souls people, this is not what your God has asked of you. Hate is the virus that spreads unchecked, unstoppable to others when left unchecked in yourself. Happy Christmas - I know you can change. Change for the better. I'm trying.
Alexandra (Nyc)
Actually, Yahweh and righteous anger were never at odds. And Christ preached many things, including the morality of the hatred of evil. Only a fool or a coward does not hate evil and rise against it.
Queensgrl (NYC)
Clear, it's hard to be charitable and kind to a group of people who want to blow us up. You know what I mean?
Jp (Michigan)
@Clearwater:" The hate is so palpable in many of these comments. Is it any wonder this world produces people who do these things?" The hate is so palatable in Ullah. Is it any wonder folks in the US want to do away with his kind?
Peter B (Brooklyn)
I hope the name of the 'city employee' who provided the photo does not get revealed. He/she should familiarize themselves with HIPA law and city employment policy.
Generallissimo Francisco Franco (Los Angeles)
Are you trying to hide something?
George S (New York, NY)
The photograph does not violate HIPA. Just a like a photo taken anywhere else without additional textual content it does not violate medical privacy. Would you assert that the initial photos showing the suspect wounded on the ground also is a HIPA issue? If not, what's the distinction? Who took the photo is not relevant to that.
Joe Blow (Kentucky)
It’s the same old story no matter what religion you belong to.I can’t believe he did such a thing, he never gave any indication that he was capable of such an act.That is exactly the problem in preventing terrorism, you can’t get into anyones head.It’s like masturbating no one knows it but you.The only way to combat it is to have informants in the community & in the Mosques. Unfortunately,all Muslims are looked upon as potential terrorists, & suffer indignities.We must tread softly & protect their rights.
Independent (Fl)
Please, who else is killing so often in the name of their religion?
Rod Sheridan (Toronto)
Well, I'm old enough to remember the IRA.
James (DC)
"It’s the same old story no matter what religion you belong to." Joe Blow I disagree. So many have commented in the past about that these terrorist acts are caused by "all religions". But the fact is that there have been relatively few mass murderers who have claimed inspiration from religions other than islam. The bible, for instance, does not contain multiple passages promoting violence, unlike the koran.
Jak (New York)
"Leaving a trail of mystery" ? what's mysterious about Muslim fanatic having been welcomed into the country he'd like to destroy, like the blind sheikh and his circle of adherents?
Barbara (D.C.)
Did you read that he had been radicalized on the internet? That means he probably didn't come here with an intent to destroy.
Location01 (NYC)
NYT repeat after me SUICIDE BOMBER. Yes this was a SUICIDE BOMBER. Not just a suspect in times square bombing.
PaulN (Columbus, Ohio, USA)
Is he a suspect or an alleged suspect or, perhaps, a potentially alleged suspect?
Lawrence Rupp (New London NH)
Here for a full explanation extended family chain migration: Chain Migration: Burdensome and Obsolete Chain migration from terror-afflicted countries presents a national security risk
maisany (NYC)
Nice try, citing a thoroughly biased and discredited source for your information: Try peddling your disinformation at NewsMax or Brietbart.
tiddle (nyc)
Loser. That's all I see in terrorists like him.
Robert (Minneapolis)
Trump is generally a big problem. He is on the right track on immigration. We need a skilled based system. And, let’s be honest with ourselves. No one was surprised that this was done by a Muslim immigrant. We need to rethink our system.
Rich Stern (Colorado)
I have no love or respect for Mr. Ullah. And I am certainly not excusing or condoning his actions. He should be prosecuted and punished for his crime. However I am surprised and saddened by the amount of hate against immigrants that is being expressed here this morning. How many millions of immigrants have come here, and become good citizens, neighbors, and friends? From what little I have seen so far, it does not appear that this man came to the U.S. with the intention of carrying out this horrific act. It makes me wonder what experience, what differences between his expectations and his realities, led him to decide that his best option was to kill himself and others. I know it won't make me popular, but I cannot help feel sorry for any human being that has reached that mental state.
AS (New York)
So true. No human should have to live in Bangladesh and with the birth rate it will only get worse.
Priya (Philadelphia)
I agree with most of what you have written with one suggestion in your last sentence: I know it won't make me popular, but I cannot help feel sorry for any human being (and the teachings that lead to such) mental state. All these terrorists are DEVOUT muslims... that puts the burden of blame on teachings not so much as mental state!
Andrew L (New York)
End chain migration now!!
The Cosmic Mind (Florida)
Has anyone asked the questions as to why "terrorist" are in war? What are their causes that lead them to be in war? Is it not true that most wars are either for control of "thy neighbors" possessions, religious beliefs or both? Who are the real terrorists, the ones with big guns or the ones with little guns? If these questions have logical answers, can you please share them with me?
P McGrath (USA)
Good questions Cos. Although the media underplays it, the sole reason that they are at war with us is Religion. The US news media never uses the term Jihad (Holy War) but that is what it really is. They are at war with us but we are not at war with them.
James (DC)
"Has anyone asked the questions as to why "terrorist" are in war?" - The Cosmic Mind Islamic terrorists are literally following the commands of their 'prophet mohammed' as plainly described dozens of times in the 'holy koran'. It's not a big mystery.
Frank Haydn Esq. (Washington DC)
I gaze at the photo of Mr. Ullah and cannot help but wonder -- inasmuch as he has turned his life upside down and lost everything, not only for himself but for his relatives -- if that is regret I see in his eyes. What do we, as a civilized nation, do now? In Israel, the authorities demolish the home of any Palestinian who is found to be guilty of terrorism. Owing to complex social and family dynamics amongst Palestinian Arabs It is, my Palestinian acquaintances tell me, an effective deterrent. I wonder if US law might allow the deportation of his extended family.
Trilby (<br/>)
A veritable trail of mysteries: His relative thought he was a good guy... What he was doing in the US at all... Police in Bangladesh hadn't heard of him... Which car service he drove for... He and his family rudely blocked a driveway all the time... Why we continue this stupid policy of chain migration...
Francois Beaubien (New York)
Painting all individuals from a country with a broad brush does not help. Should all Italians have been rejected because of Al Capone? Individuals such as this loser have become radicalized here. It does not seem like he came to the US to hide as a mole until one day pull a terrorist act.
Kimbo (NJ)
I am confused by your analogy and the NYT Pick. AL Capone never acted in the name of his religion. Read the Koran.
maisany (NYC)
There seem to be millions of people who read the koran, including the several thousand Bangladeshi immigrants who were Ullah's neighbors in Brooklyn. Only one of them seems to have committed this crime. Why should the rest of them be painted with the same brush? Perhaps Ullah misread his koran, like Judge Moore seems to misread his bible.
Cathy (NYC)
Seems like another deportation is in order?
silver bullet (Fauquier County VA)
Inspired by ISIS, this immigrant chose the busy NYC subway system during the Christmas holiday shopping season to attack and kill Americans. His photo certainly doesn’t show any remorse on his part, just a bold arrogance that is downright chilling.
Name (Here)
oh, please. His eyes show physical pain and possibly drugs. Don't read anything into the eyes of a guy wounded, shocky and under medical care.
iRail (Washington DC)
Akayed Ullah Is a mystery until one realizes India built a wall on the Bangladesh border to keep terrorist out while America built extended chain migration allowing terrorist to immigrate in.
countryboy (ny)
save your make too much sense
Queensgrl (NYC)
We can thank the Left for this genius move.
Brad (NYC)
I find these articles very frustrating. Giving this wannabe mass murderer the attention he so clearly craves, does not help us on the war on terrorism. He is not a martyr, he is a homicidal, angry, complete failure of a man who deserves to be executed.
Amoret (North Dakota)
Executed? For a nonfatal attack? The last I heard we do not execute criminals based on their intentions.
Jenn-ExPat (Pennsylvania)
This case illustrates the absurdity of our current immigration system. The nephew of a US citizen qualifies for permanent residence - along with his wife and children - and no qualification whatsoever, other than a relative connection to his sponsor, who might well have been the beneficiary of another uncle. Essentially our system invites hundreds of millioms of people in the network of extended famiies around the world to come here. No other country does this. This case is the poster child for a reform of the immigration system into one that is merit-based and looks to whether the applicant has skills needed in this country. The concept of family unification can be just as well served by having families remain unified in their country of origin. As to the argument that people like Ullah contribute to the economy - what was his means of support for the last several years? Not mentioned in the article, but likely paid for by the taxpayers and if he worked, it was also likely under the table, with no taxes deducted.
Jim (USA)
Careful Jenn, that won't sit well with the "bring in the world" crowd.
Paul (Hampton, VA 23666)
Excellent analysts!
MartinC (New York)
Jenn Ex-Pat do you know of anyone who has successfully applied for a Green Card? I assure you, it is not as easy as you make it sound. I have gone through the process and it takes years and involves a lot of background checks both financially, academically and employment wise. You don't add credibility to your argument by using the phrase 'hundreds of millions'. The current population of the USA is only 323million.
kay (new york)
I often wondered if the family of these terrorists make out financially after these attacks at one point. Are these men promised a payoff from ISIL for their families? Could that be the motivation for some of them?
Raindrop (<br/>)
The suspect's family has expressed disapproval of his actions.
mavin (Rochester, My)
Disapproval? How about tipping off the authorities?
John (Upstate NY)
Yes, he is a Muslim immigrant from Bangladesh. Unfortunately, there is no news to be made with the headline "2999 Kensington Muslims with Bangladeshi roots went about their lives today and did not initiate terrorist attacks."
James (Long Island)
I lived near Kensington at one point. It is hard to imagine that in this close ethic community that many others weren't involved. They share a common language and culture and worship together.They depend on each other socially, economically and politically. Exploitation of the chain migration loophole is common. I would imagine that many were aware and perhaps complicit. Many if not most share his views and some may carry out future attempts. Having grown up in Brooklyn, I know that there are many close knit immigrant communities. This is a necessity. Most of these communities want the American dream, embrace the American way of life, contribute to society, welcome outsiders, and are tolerant of others. The bonds are strong and positive. As Donald Trump mentions, there are other ethnic communities that are sadly quite different. I know that many of the limousine liberals who read The Times, have not had the benefit of my experience. They would be well served by a NYT piece that deeply examined these communities without preconceived conclusions.
Kimbo (NJ)
A piece by the NYT without preconceived conclusions?
Name (Here)
Really? That many? Except for the great Bangladeshi food, I can't see why...
Vcliburn (NYC)
“KUMBAYA, my Lord…KUMBAYA. Give Peace a chance!!! The world is watching to see how WE…the wise, omniscient, law-biding and peace-loving citizens of the United States…respond to this totally isolated, “lone wolf” terrorist incident. The Islamic perpetrator here could have just as well been a devout Christian, Jew, Buddhist, racist NAZI skinhead, Republican…or a member of the NRA. To demonstrate our UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for this poor, misguided Islamic perpetrator, and those like him, we must have more “chain migration” and “sanctuary cities”…if not complete OPEN BORDERS!” *** *** This is my feeble attempt at standup comedy...LOL!!!
Marcus Aurelius (Terra Incognita)
Good work! Not feeble, at all. In fact, if you hadn’t added the explanatory note, your comment appeared expressive of the world view of a true believer and would quite likely have been an NYT Pick....
Lawrence Rupp (New London NH)
He was only doing what the Koran says Muslims should do to non-Muslims. A Simple Koran FreeDownload The Koran is famously known to be unreadable, how can this be? The Koran found in the bookstore is not the historical Koran of Mohammed. The original Koran was a story that unfolded as Mohammed’s life situations changed. The bookstore Koran is arranged by length of chapter, not time. The bookstore Koran has no time, no Mohammed and no story. Therefore, it makes no sense. Using statistical methods to select the verses, A Two-Hour Koran has woven Mohammed’s life back into the Koran itself. Now the verses have context and meaning. Everything is in the right order and the original story has been restored. Once you have read A Two-Hour Koran, you can pick up a bookstore Koran and understand what you are reading.
Misterbianco (Pennsylvania)
This barbarian comes to a country where, probably for the first time in his life, he can drink clean water and use indoor bathroom facilities. In return, he plants a bomb in a subway hoping to kill innocent people. He has restored my faith in Guantanamo, to which he should be dispatched immediately and kept for the rest of his life. No constitutional protection. And his fate should be publicized as a warning to other like-minded individuals.
Andrew L (New York)
Scott K (Bronx)
Yes, let’s celebrate our American ideals by completely trashing them.
Misterbianco (Pennsylvania)
Sorry to offend your sense of patriotism, sir. But what American ideals would that be? The right to be murdered on the way to work? Characters like this guy are not Trump's illegals here to steal jobs. They represent a global enemy set on destroying our way of life and the ideals you claim to preseve. This was an act of war and it should be dealt with accordingly.
Beaglelover (New York)
Someone needs to investigate the building site where he worked as an electrician. The work is probably slipshod, just like his bomb!
P McGrath (USA)
Despite what the media says this is not terrorism it is Jihad. Big difference. A holy war waged against the west. Religion is never mentioned in the NYT article and rarely is. The media wants to pretend that this not about religion when in stark reality it is only about religion.
Peter B (Brooklyn)
Did you read the article?
Kaleberg (Port Angeles, WA)
The article that you say never mentions religion says that the terrorist attended a mosque and was close to its imam. The article also quotes a fellow mosque attendee.
Jerry (Arlington, MA)
And that's religion independent of the particulars.
neal (Sw FL)
we need to remove his family immediately, this will send messages to other families to speak out before something happens.... Until it gets fixed within the communities we are doomed for more and more attacks...deporting the family is the only option
Raindrop (<br/>)
Why should his family be punished? Often such individuals have quite secular families.
Susan (PA)
so when an American commits a crime, should we punish their family? that, too, is barbarism
Herbert navarro (nyc)
We were offended when retribution was visited on families and communities as a deterrent and punishment during WWII. We should be offended when it is practiced today.
Ingrid J (Berlin)
How many American citizens will have to die from shootings -- from police or disgruntled white men -- before gun restrictions are passed by the government? Despite the sensational, racist headlines, gun violence committed by US citizens kill more than immigrants.
Kimbo (NJ)
...terrorists? This man was a terrorist.
Amoret (North Dakota)
Of course, lets keep our terminology straight. All (of the many more) American shooters (and white bombers during the 60s) are mentally ill, and all (of the far fewer) (black in the 60s/70s and) immigrant bombers/shooters are terrorists.
gaaah (NC)
Terrorist attacks at heart are the acts of insolent children. There is no mystery or great ideological idea to be discerned. You might as well try to pry open the mystery of why 2 + 2 = 5.
Frank Haydn Esq. (Washington DC)
Your comment is about the most nonsensical I have read on these pages. Insolent children make mischief; they do not set out to murder innocent people. Incidentally, you may want to get a math tutor.
gaaah (NC)
I'll have to stand by my comment. The all-or-nothing credo of fundamentalist terrorism is a childish thing. It lacks patience, respect, and maturity. Perhaps your position is that you understand it. If so, clue us in.
gaaah (NC)
"Ideological idea": That was brilliant. Replace with "religious idea".
Juliet (Paris, France)
"Mr. Ullah, Mohammad said, was close to the mosque’s imam and was often seen with him at afternoon prayers." That imam needs to be checked out. Here in France, too many non-French and even non-French speaking imams, sent from Algeria and elsewhere, have been revealed to be suspect.
James (Long Island)
Thank you!
Larry (NY)
Seems like the same article we read every time one of these "nice guys" does or attempts to do something horrific. If terrorism is the "new normal", maybe we need a "new normal" approach to the way we look at candidates for radicalization and people from countries that harbor or support terrorists.
Ozma (Oz)
“Chain Immigration?” Exactly how far can the “chain” go to allow distant family members to immigrate? Does this allow for his parents and grandparents and his siblings with their possible in-laws and the in-laws families also to immigrate to the United States? I am not anti-immigration but there seems to be a problem when uneducated people can immigrate enmass for economic and distant relative reasons.
mavin (Rochester, My)
Yes, especially 19 year old males (like he was when he came to America) with no job skills.
domenicfeeney (seattle)
and the more ''family members'' that come the larger their subsidized housing will get and food stamps,healthcare ,education costs will be ..and lets not forget all four grandparents will be eligible for SSI benefits also
Concerned Citizen (Anywheresville)
Yes, yes, yes and yes -- and this has been going on since the 1960s at least, when we dropped all standards for immigrants and decided "anyone could come". Some family groups include 60 or more members, as each new person to get a green card can then sponsor virtually anyone related to them -- with very little proof of actual biological relationship.
WH (Yonkers)
without actions, idealism does not show: it is in the mind. where only the person can hear it, think it, and believe they feel it.
Marcus Aurelius (Terra Incognita)
And when confronted by barbarians who’s hatred for the West is centuries old, that’s exactly where idealism ought to stay — in the mind...
Midwest Josh (Four days from Saginaw)
Mr. Ullah was the nephew of an American citizen and benefited from what the officials called “extended family chain migration.“ And there you have it. End that program today. I’ll bet INS couldn’t explain where that Family Chain ends if questioned..
Harry (New York, NY)
Isn't too early to talk about the politics of immigration and let our thoughts and prayers work for the injured and the victims?
JohnB (Staten Island)
“Extended family chain migration.” Yep, that's our broken immigration system for you! We are obliged to take in random relatives of relatives of relatives of people who were allowed in 50 years ago, and we end up with losers like this. Such a policy has absolutely no benefit for long time American citizens (who have no foreign relatives to bring in), but immigrant lobbies fight to preserve it, and liberals like it because they are sloppy sentimentalists who worship the god of Diversity and have faith that the more wretched our immigrants are, the better it will be for the country. Somehow. There are a lot of very bad things one can say about Donald Trump, but he has been pushing an immigration bill, the RAISE Act, that would change America's immigration system to focus on skills rather than family connections. Other countries, like Canada, have sensible systems like this, and we need one too.
elle (<br/>)
So glad he was careless and didn't succeed in his mission. Even better, he's alive to be questioned, arrested, and imprisoned. Brilliant all around. I used to live in that building -- gorgeous, pre-war, well kept. My one bedroom was almost 1000 sqft; high ceilings; parquet floors. Just beautiful. I moved to Westchester 28 years ago. How times have changed. And so has the neighborhood. Your reporters got it wrong. The address, 679 Ocean Parkway, is in fact, in MIDWOOD, not Kensington. It's a triviality, but important.
Daveugber (Kansas)
"Mr. "? The scumbag deserves no polite descriptors... it's Ullah...better yet, just "the loser" This article starts of with an almost admiring tone; as if we're supposed to be surprised that a Bangladeshi national would do something so stupid. Sheesh.
Malone (Tucson, AZ)
as if we're supposed to be surprised that a Bangladeshi national would do something so stupid. Sometimes multiple apparently conflicting things are true simultaneously. Yes, Bangladeshis have been involved in terrorism in Bangladesh, India and UK. But also, the numbers (outside Bangladesh) have been small, and it IS surprising that a Bangladeshi would be so stupid. We need to be aware of these complexities to fight political Islam efficiently.
peg (VA)
The NYT also refers to Trump as "Mr." - enough said!
Daveugber (Kansas)
The authorship in this article is near reverent of the bomber, and the picture they posted makes him look like such a pussycat.. disgusting, NYT...
Dennis D. (New York City)
I guess this guy is who Trump was talking about when he says there's been a war declared on Christmas. Glad to see Trump has won the Christmas War. Now bring the troops home. It's over. DD Manhattan
Fatso (New York City)
There is little or nothing mysterious about this attack. The man is a Muslim. He comes from a Third World country. He is not westernized. He comes from a culture which opposes democracy, civil rights, and various freedoms that people in the United States take for granted such as freedom of religion and freedom of speech. He comes from a male dominant society where disputes are often resolved violently. He said he decided to explode his bomb because he was upset when he saw Christmas advertisements. This attack should not surprise anyone.
David Adamson (Silver Spring, MD)
Donald Trump also opposes democracy, civil rights, and various freedoms that people in the United States "take for granted," such as freedom of the press, freedom to protest peaceably, and the rule of law. So I'm a little hazy on how, according to your characterization, this man's beliefs differ from those of the President of the United States.
diana wandrey (gridley, ca)
The good little progressive has his talking points down pat. How about a little meat on the accusations toward the POTUS.
paul (White Plains, NY)
David Adamson, your post is offensive. Trump is none of the things you say he is. He has never called for an end to press freedom, he simply asks for truth in reporting. He has never demanded the end to peaceful protest. And he has never challenged the rule of law. You need to back up your rant with facts.
Mysticwonderful (london)
I am curious to know more about the 'extended family chain migration". Why would a nephew of an american citizen qualify for a visa? This kind of thing only plays into the Trump noise about immigration. Though Trump and his ilk are most definitely not the people to lead it. Perhaps there does need to be some reform of immigration policy. But in this environment it's not clear what current immigration policy actually is. It's all descended into a party political battle where common sense is banned from the discussion.
LongDistance (Texas)
An American citizen can sponsor his/her siblings and parents for a Green Card. Although the wait is longer, when a sibling gets a Green Card, his/her spouse and children below certain age get a green card too. The American citizen himself/herself may have come here through a marriage or an employment-based visa and gotten a Green card. After 5 years on Green Card, one can become a citizen and sponsor his/her family.
Cathy (NYC)
How about we just follow the immigration laws that's on the books? It worked for decades until we lost the national will to enforce them?
Queensgrl (NYC)
Perhaps 45 shouldn't be the one but in all honesty he has been THE only one to highlight this type of immigration. Countless Presidents have only given lip service and nothing more.
King David (Washington DC)
He should be hanged in a platform in the middle of Times Square to send them a message of what we do to fanatical assassins here in NYC.
Mysticwonderful (london)
That would solve nothing and only mirror the terrible mind set of the kind of people who'd commit these kinds of acts. Giving into revenge impulses will only makes things worse.
Barry Schreibman (Cazenovia, New York)
And also send a message who we are and who we have become? Great idea.
Randy Freeman (Kinnelon , New Jersey)
King David, I get the anger. But if we do that, we become them. That's not what we want.
johns (Massachusetts)
One reflects. Who is this person? What choices could he have made that would have sent him on a different path? How could close acquaintances not know he had moved to a twisted and dangerous place in his mind? Why choose death when god's gift to us is our short life? And how can we as a society provide the engagement and positive enforcement to remove sites from the internet that promulgate death of innocents and no respect for life?
john (washington,dc)
And how could has family "lawyer up" so quickly?
Queensgrl (NYC)
You know what? I don't really care what kind of person this is nor do I care what other choices this man cold have taken. I know what choice he made. He should be indicted forthwith then thrown in jail until he leaves in a pine box. All "friends and family" visas must be ended as soon as possible.
Susan (PA)
wouldn't you? if someone in your family committed a crime and the automatic response was you must've had something to do with it?
Marigrow (Deland, Florida)
How many American citizens will have to die or be injured before Muslim immigration is ended?
Mainiac (Scarborough, Me)
It's not "Muslim" immigration that must be ended. It's Muslim integration that should be extended. If you have concerns about immigrants fitting in, then make sure they fit in. Make them feel welcome and part of the country, make them understand the what and whys of American greatness -- and admit our areas for improvement, too., BTW, the First Peoples would very much have liked to have ended "Christian" immigration, which I would argue was anything but.
Amoret (North Dakota)
How many American citizens will have to die or be injured before meaningful gun control is begun?
Jamoldo (Hong Kong)
How many Americans will have to die until we have much stronger gun laws? Or ban guns altogether?
See also