Federal authorities on Wednesday released a six-count indictment charging Ullah with providing material support to the Islamic State, use of a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a public transport system, committing a terrorist attack against a mass transport system, destruction of public property with an explosive and using a destructive device in a crime of violence. Ullah is suspected of strapping a pipe bomb to his body and setting it off in a subway passageway. The pipe bomb did not fully explode.
Reportedly inspired by ISIS, Ullah allegedly set off the "effectively low-tech device", but the blast wasn't powerful enough to turn the pipe into deadly shrapnel, law enforcement said in December.
A NY man pleaded not guilty Thursday to trying to bomb a subway station, an attack that injured no one seriously but himself.
During Wednesday's indictment hearing, US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said the selection of time and place has made it clear that Akayed's intention was to inflict as much damage as possible, and to strike fear into the hearts of New Yorkers in the name of Islamic State.
Gallicchio did not respond to questions about Ullah's odd plea, which seemed to leave the door open for a plea agreement at a later date.
Akayed immigrated to the United States on a family visa in 2011.
Since then US President Donald Trump has been pushing for end to chain migration and diversity lottery visa. Ullah was injured, and three others were slightly hurt.
He said other evidence includes Ullah's post-arrest statements, Federal Bureau of Investigation laboratory reports on fingerprints and other forensic evidence along with materials gathered during searches of locations where Ullah stored his laptop and other personal items. The president later demanded tightened immigration rules.
Ullah was treated at Bellevue Hospital after the blast for burns and cuts to his hands and abdomen and is now in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
They also said in court papers that he admitted he wanted to cause carnage to avenge USA aggression toward the Islamic State group.