Port Authority police officers Sean Gallagher, left, and Drew Preston, Jack Collins, and Anthony Manfredini.
(Port Authority Police Benevolent Association )
Three of the four hero police officers credited with the disabling of the Port Authority terrorist are former members of the military who ran in the direction of the scene of the pipe bomb blast as panicked commuters fled in the other direction, their union spokesman says.
Sean Gallagher, an ex-Marine, Drew Preston, three tours with the Army in Iraq, Anthony Manferdini, a former Navy bomb technician and Jack Collins were identified by the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association on Monday as the men who subdued attempted suicide bomber Akayed Ullah.
“You could not have better people on the scene,” spokesman Bobby Egbert told 1010 WINS.
Egbert said the officers described encountering smoke and debris in the air” moments after Ullah detonated a homemade bomb in a passage connecting from the Times Square and port authority subway stations.
Police officers patrolling in the passage connecting New York Port Authority bus terminal and Times Square subway station.
The stations are the busiest in New York City’s subway system, with more than 60 million riders pass through each year. Above: one of them is the Port Authority Bus Terminal, an important transportation hub for the riders to travel throughout the Northeast.
Manferdini was on patrol in the area of the passage at the time of the blast and saw people who are from the area, Egbert said.
He then made a radio broadcast and responded with the other officers, only to find Ullah lying on the ground and picks up his mobile phone. The cops also spotted wires from Ullah’s coat and runs down to his pants.
“The officers at that point was to make a decision, so that no one else would be hurt, and they decided at that time to the person in custody, keep him away from the mobile phone,” Egbert told 1010 WINS.
Egbert said the officers told him there was a struggle to keep Ullah away from the phone, which can be used as an igniter for the low-tech explosive.
Police officers and a police dog patrol after a terrorist hit Port Authority with a homemade bomb.
A statement from the chairman of the port authority Police Benevolent Association on Monday hailed the four men as “brave” officers who “risked their life to avoid confrontation with an armed terrorist to protect others from harm.”
“These police officers are some of the most highly trained officers in the nation, as are all port authority police officers,” Paul Nunziato said. “I am so grateful that there was no loss of life and I could not be prouder of our port authority police officers, their actions and their dedication to their sworn duty.”
Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladesh national living in Brooklyn, was charged Tuesday with criminal possession of a weapon, the support of an act of terrorism, and the making of a terrorist threat.
Federal charges are expected later, The Associated Press reported.
UPDATE: Akayed Ullah, the suspect arrested in yesterday’s terrorist attack in new YORK, is charged with the following:
• Criminal Possession of a Weapon
• Support Act of Terrorism
• The Terrorist Threat#NYPDprotecting
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) 12 December 2017
Prior to the explosion, Ullah looked Islamic State propaganda on the Internet and revealed to researchers he tries to take revenge against the US military aggression, but had no direct contact with ISIS, law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation said.
Ullah with a 5-inch metal pipe bomb connected to a battery pack strapped around his abdomen, police sources told the New York Post. Other law enforcement officials told Fox News that Ullah said he made the bulky built device in his work.
Ullah suffered burns in the attack, while three others had minor injuries.
Bomb-sniffing dogs were present Tuesday in the morning if the passage is open again.