(NEW YORK) — The explosive device detonated in the New York City subway system Monday morning did not fully shatter but had the ability to impose more injuries, according to a law enforcement source.
Authorities called the homemade device an “improvised low-tech explosive” that was attached to the suspect with hook-and-loop fasteners and zip ties.
The bomb was built from a 12-inch-long pipe, black powder and rigged with a 9-volt battery and a wire that came from a Christmas light, a law enforcement source told ABC News.
“He did follow some of the instructions that you can find readily online, unfortunately, to create such a device,” New York Police Department counterterrorism chief James Waters told ABC News. “A Christmas light bulb is one of those components.”
Because the device was strapped to the suspect, the assumption is he had been prepared to die as a suicide bomber, the source said.
The pipe had nails stuffed into it, the source said, and could have caused multiple injuries.
But the pipe failed to fully shatter and a 6-inch piece was discovered completely intact.
“This could have been worse,” the law enforcement source said.
The FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, and the NYPD bomb squad are analyzing components of the explosive.
The Monday morning explosion occurred in an underground passageway near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, sending commuters scrambling to evacuate a major transit hub just blocks from Times Square.
Despite the rush-hour crowds, officials said, only five people suffered minor injuries.
The 27-year-old suspect, Akayed Ullah, is in the hospital, badly injured in the arm and torso from the device that went off in his arms, sources said. Ullah, originally from Bangladesh, told authorities he is self-inspired from ISIS online propaganda, sources said.
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