(CNSNews.com) – CNN on Monday cited an unnamed “law enforcement source” as saying that the terrorist who tried to detonate a suicide bomb in New York City was angered by Israel’s “incursion into Gaza.”
“Israel launched airstrikes this weekend against what it said were Hamas targets in Gaza after several rockets were fired out of Gaza toward Israel,” CNN reported. “This came amid widespread protests over President Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
While some implied a possible link between the attack and Trump’s Jerusalem decision, other unnamed “law enforcement sources” told other news outlets that the suspect, Akayed Ullah, was driven by other motives, including “decades of violence against Muslims in Gaza, Syria and Iraq,” and “U.S. bombing in ISIS-controlled territory.”
Unnamed “law enforcement officials” cited by NBC News said Ullah decided to detonate his device in a subway passage near the Port Authority bus terminal at Times Square “because he noticed a holiday image there” and was “mindful of ISIS threats timed to Christmas.”
The New York Times said he selected the location for his attack “because of its Christmas-themed posters.”
Trump made his Jerusalem policy announcement on December 6. Nine days earlier, the private intelligence group SITE reported on an ISIS campaign threatening attacks linked to Christmas in New York City’s Times Square, as well as in Britain and France.
Islamist terrorists have targeted Christmas and New Year festivities before now:
Last New Year, a gunmen killed 39 people in a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey. ISIS claimed responsibility.
On December 19 last year, a Tunisian whose asylum application in Germany had been turned down drove a truck into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people.
A church bombing in Alexandria, Egypt on New Year’s Eve 2011 killed 23 people.
Boko Haram bombed a church near Abuja on Christmas Day 2011, killing 37 worshipers. One year earlier, the terrorist group killed at least 32 people in three bombings targeting Christian areas in Jos on Christmas Eve.
An al-Qaeda terrorist tried to blow up a Detroit-bound aircraft on Christmas Day 2009.
USAID official John Granville was shot dead in his car while returning from a New Year’s Eve party at the British Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, in 2008.
In Monday’s attack Ullah, a green card-holding immigrant from Bangladesh, survived the blast when he partially detonated his device and is receiving treatment under guard for injuries to his abdomen and hands. Three people nearby were injured.
Whether or not he was responding to Trump’s Jerusalem announcement, ISIS and other terrorist groups have since December 6 been threatening a violent response to the president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Al-Qaeda’s North African franchise AQIM urged its fighters to make the liberation of Palestine their “central cause,” the terrorist group’s Somali branch al-Shabaab called on Muslims to support Jerusalem with their “souls and money,” while the Pakistan’s Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) called Trump’s announcement an “open declaration of war against Muslims.”
Hamas declared the beginning of a new intifada (violent uprising) against Israel and “days of rage.”