The suspect, named by police as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, "intentionally detonated" an improvised low-tech explosive device that he was wearing, officials told reporters. New York's official emergency-notification channel earlier had reported police activity at Port Authority, the massive transit hub at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in midtown Manhattan. A person was arrested and has non-life-threatening injuries.
Three other people suffered minor wounds when it blew up in an underpass.
"This was an attempted terrorist attack", Mayor Bill de Blasio added. "All we could hear was the chaos", said Elrana Peralta, a Greyhound customer-service worker who was working at the Port Authority bus terminal near the blast, though she did not hear it.
Police and the Joint Terrorism Task Force were investigating how the device was made and where he got the bomb-making instructions, reports CBS New York.
Ullah is a citizen of Bangladesh who came to the US legally in 2011, the Department of Homeland Security said in a tweet. He has been transported to Bellevue Hospital to receive treatment for injuries to his hands and abdomen sustained in the explosion.
"The preliminary information from police sources, and I emphasize the word preliminary, subject to change, it is a man in his middle 20s probably, possibly somebody from Bangladesh, been in the country about seven years, who supposedly was setting the device off in the name of ISIS", Bratton said.
"He detonated the bomb, the explosive chemical in the bomb went off, it did not have the desired affect of causing the pipe itself to shatter, which would've caused the more significant damage", New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on MSNBC.
Shortly after reports of an explosion surfaced, photos emerged on social media apparently showing a police bomb-squad truck arriving at the scene.
Calling a bomb in a crowded subway "one of our worst nightmares", Cuomo said that the reality of what had occurred turned out to be better than what had been first feared. The family's red, two-story brick home is just off a shopping strip. Asked if the suspect was connected to the Islamic State terror group, Mr O'Neill said the suspect "did make statements" but did not elaborate.
New York City most recently suffered a terrorist attack on October 31, when a man drove a rented truck down a pedestrian trail on the Manhattan's west side, killing eight and injuring almost a dozen others. It was the first deadly terror attack in NY since the September 11 suicide airliner attacks.
- That license lapsed and was not renewed in March of 2015, Fromberg said. Video posted on NYPost.com showed smoke and a man lying in the tunnel that connects sections of the Times Square subway station and the bus station.