MTA workers enter the scene of an explosion in New York City, the United States, on Dec. 11, 2017. Four people were injured in an explosion in a passageway near Times Square, Manhattan in New York City early Monday morning. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
NEW YORK, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Four people were injured as a man set off an improvised explosive device at New York City's commuter hub during rush hour on Monday.
In what New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called an attempted terrorist attack, a 27-year-old man denoted a low-tech bomb strapped to his body at around 7:20 a.m. local time in an underground passageway near Times Square, seriously wounding himself and injuring three others.
The police have identified the suspect as Akayed Ullah and have placed him in custody, New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neil said at a press conference held near the scene.
He added that the incident was captured on transit system video. A further review and witness interview is underway.
Police are calling on the general public to provide information about the suspect.
Authorities said three people in the immediate area sustained minor injuries such as ringing in the ear and headache.
Asked whether the suspect has connection with the Islamic State, O'Neil said, "he did make a statement but we are not going to talk about that right now."
De Blasio said at the same press conference that the incident was an attempted terrorist attack and "thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals."
He added that there are no additional known incidents or activities at this time. He assured the public that there are no credible and specific threats to New York City at the moment.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed that the suspect was admitted to the United States after presenting a passport displaying an F43 family immigrant visa in 2011. The suspect is a Lawful Permanent Resident from Bangladesh who benefited from extended family chain migration.
Immediately after the incident, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders tweeted that President Donald Trump had been briefed on the explosion.
"This attack underscores the need for Congress to work with the president on immigration reforms that enhance our national security and public safety," she told reporters in an afternoon news briefing.
Sanders added that the country "must move to a merit-based system of immigration."
Meanwhile, Trump has not made any comments so far on the explosion on his twitter account.
Times Square-42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal is the city's busiest station complex in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority system. More than 10 train lines use the location and it served 64.5 million passengers in 2016.
"When you hear about a bomb in the subway station, it is in many ways one of our worst nightmares. The reality turns out to be better than the initial expectation and fear," said New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
He said the attacker obtained information on how to make a bomb from the internet.
The incident was the second in the fourth quarter of the year that New York City saw one individual conducted terror attack in the busiest areas of Manhattan.
On Oct. 31, eight people were killed and a dozen more injured after a truck plowed into pedestrians near the World Trade Center.
New York City Police Department Deputy Commissioner John Miller informed the press conference on Monday that approximately 26 plots have been prevented through intelligence investigation in New York City since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
He added that authorities have put in enormous effort in preventing a significant number of plots and attacks.
The incident has sent commuters into a frenzy and many New Yorkers seemed to be disturbed by the disrupted rush hour transit than the explosion.