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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Special Report
A life split between Bangladesh and Brooklyn for NYC bomber
    2017-December-15  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

A MAN with his feet on two continents, New York City bombing suspect Akayed Ullah lived a life divided between Bangladesh and Brooklyn.

His wife and infant son are still in Dhaka, the capital of his homeland, which he left seven years ago. Much of the rest of his family — his mother, two sisters and a brother — live either with or near him in New York.

Ullah, 27, did not often travel back to Bangladesh, but investigators say he went there in September, three months before he strapped a bomb to his chest, and tried to set off the explosive amid a crowd of commuters in the United States’ busiest subway system at rush hour Monday in a scenario that New York has dreaded for years.

In the end, the only serious wounds were to the suspect. But the attack sent terrified commuters fleeing through a smoky passageway, and three people suffered headaches and ringing ears from the first bomb blast in the subway in more than two decades.

“This was an attempted terrorist attack,” Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals.”

It appeared that the divisions in Ullah’s life were more than geographic. Although he had in some ways accustomed himself to his adopted country, he was also angry at it, scribbling on his passport, “O America, die in your rage,” according to court papers filed Tuesday.

En route to carrying out the attempted attack, he allegedly posted on Facebook, “Trump you failed to protect your nation,” according to court documents.

In Washington, President Donald Trump said the explosion highlighted the need to change immigration policies, including the type of family-based visa Ullah obtained to come to the United States in 2011. Such visas are “incompatible with national security,” the Republican president said in a statement.

Days after the terrorist attack, much remains unknown about Ullah, whose biography has been emerging in bits and pieces.

He arrived at Brooklyn in 2011, federal officials said, following his grandparents, an uncle and his older brother, Ahsan. He worked for a while as a car-service driver and then, more recently, as an electrician.

Those who knew him said that Ullah often prayed at a mosque in the Kensington section of Brooklyn. One of its leaders described him as “a regular guy, like any other kid.”

According to his family in Bangladesh, Ullah was born and raised in Dhaka, where his father ran a grocery store in the neighborhood of Hazaribagh, which is home to several tanneries. Ullah got married in 2016, and he and his wife, Jannatul Ferdous Piya, had a baby boy about six months ago, his family said.

One of his uncles, Abdul Ahad, said that Ullah had attended Kakoli High School in Dhaka and then went to Dhaka City College. Ahad did not know what subject Ullah studied.

Investigators found bomb-making materials in Ullah’s apartment in New York City. They said he carried out the attack after researching how to build a bomb a year ago and planned his mission for several weeks.

The bomb was assembled in the past week using fragments of a metal pipe, a battery and a Christmas tree light bulb, along with metal screws, authorities said.

Ullah had apparently hoped to die, taking as many innocent people as he could with him, prosecutors said. When they encountered him, Ullah had a shrapnel wound and there was smoke around him and debris all over the floor.

As police approached, Ullah appeared to be reaching for a cellphone, and he had wires protruding from his jacket and his pants, authorities said.

He was charged with providing material support to a terrorist group, use of a weapon of mass destruction and three bomb-related offenses. He could get up to life in prison if convicted.

Ullah had his first court appearance Wednesday via video from the hospital room where he is recovering from burns sustained in the blast. He said little during the hearing, which lasted a little over 10 minutes.

He could be seen on the video lying on a hospital bed with his head propped up on a pillow and his body covered up to his neck in sheets. Two assistant public defenders, who stood beside his hospital bed, did not request bail.

The suspect was believed to have started to radicalize in 2014, three years after moving to the United States, by watching IS propaganda online. He told investigators he acted alone in retaliation for U.S. military actions in the Middle East, law enforcement officials said.

They said Ullah also told investigators that he specifically timed the assault to coincide with the Christmas season for the greatest possible effect.

But he had operated under the radar, his name never appearing on any watch lists, and he was not previously known to law enforcement in either the United States or his homeland, officials said.

Officials in Bangladesh said Wednesday that Ullah had asked his wife to read the writings and listen to the sermons of Moulana Jasimuddin Rahmani, the imprisoned leader of a banned group called Ansarullah Bangla Team.

The group has been linked to killings and attacks on secular academics and atheist bloggers in Bangladesh. Rahmani is serving time in prison for his involvement in the killings.

Ullah’s wife was questioned in Bangladesh and told investigators Ullah discussed Rahman’s writings with her during his last visit home, said Monirul Islam, a top official of Bangladesh’s counterterrorism department.

His wife also told reporters in a brief interview conducted through the closed door of her home in Dhaka that she had never heard him speak negatively of the United States. She said when she spoke to him by phone the morning of the bombing, he gave no indication of what he planned to do.

Mofazzal Hossain, caretaker of the family apartment in Dhaka, described Ullah as “pious and a gentleman.”

“He used to pray in the local mosque five times a day. He would urge us to pray and do good work,” Hossain said.

The family of Ullah said it’s heartbroken and “deeply saddened” by the suffering the attack has caused.

In a statement, Ullah’s family also said they are outraged by the way they have been targeted by law enforcement, including an incident during which a teenage relative was pulled from class and questioned without a parent, guardian or attorney present.

In Brooklyn, Ullah’s social life revolved at least in part around the Masjid Nur al Islam mosque, where he was said to be close with the imam, Gauhar Ahmed. Ullah’s brother, Ahsan, was the imam’s secretary and a member of its board, according to the president of the board, Kamal Nasser.

Nasser also said that several years ago, Ahmed told him that federal agents had spoken with Ahmed about his “anti-government” rhetoric. The imam asked if Nasser would serve as a witness of character if it ever came to it, Nasser said.

Nasser and other worshipers are currently in litigation with Ahmed over a series of internal disputes at the mosque, said Mustapha Ndanusa, Ahmed’s lawyer.

Ndanusa said the FBI had contacted Ahmed for assistance in locating someone after the Sept. 11 attacks, and in an interview Tuesday Ahmed denied telling Nasser that he was once under investigation.

Ahmed also said that he was not particularly close with Ullah and he declined to respond when asked if Ullah had ever displayed any radical tendencies at the mosque.

Ahmed added that he had not seen Ullah at the mosque in five or six years and could only remember speaking with him twice. The first time, he said, was at a brief spiritual lesson during which Ullah asked a question about religious diversity.

“He was too busy with comparing religions,” Ahmed recalled. “He should learn how to pray, I told him. Instead of busying himself with other religions, he should concentrate on his religion.”

The second time he spoke to Ullah, he said, was on the phone when Ullah’s father died.

In 2004, the New York Police Department’s Intelligence Division included Masjid Nur al Islam on its list of “mosques of interest.” In confidential documents, police officials also placed four members of the mosque on a list entitled “most dangerous.”(SD-Agencies)

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