A 27-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh detonated a homemade pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded New York subway passage during the morning rush hour Monday, injuring three people and putting the city on edge just six weeks after a deadly truck attack.
Akayed Ullah told police investigators he wanted to avenge US airstrikes on the Islamic State group and was also inspired by Christmas terror plots in Europe, and chose the location for his attack by the Christmas posters on the subway walls, US media reported.
His bomb failed to detonate properly, leaving him the only one seriously injured in the incident.
President Donald Trump used the attack to call for tougher US immigration rules, saying the current "lax" policy "allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country."
"Today's attempted mass murder attack in New York City -- the second terror attack in New York in the last two months -- once again highlights the urgent need for Congress to enact legislative reforms to protect the American people," Trump said in a statement.
The blast took place in the subway station at the Port Authority bus terminal, not far from the city's iconic Times Square, sparking commuter panic and travel disruptions.
A closed-circuit security video showed commuters scattering as the bomb exploded and one body -- that of the bomber -- on the ground after the smoke cleared.
Authorities attributed the minimal damage from the simple device attached to Akayed Ullah's chest to a malfunction.
The explosion left him with several burns to his torso and hands, and he was sent to a hospital in "serious" condition.
The other three injured people suffered ringing in the ears, headaches and other minor complaints, and there was no significant damage to the subway structure.
"Fortunately for us, the bomb partially detonated," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "It did not fully have the effect that he was hoping for."
Cuomo said Ullah was not part of a "sophisticated network," but appeared to have been "influenced" by the Islamic State or other extremist groups.
The attack came as the Christmas-New Year holiday season was moving into high gear, underscoring the possible threat that lone actors inspired by Islamic State or Al-Qaeda pose to festive crowds.