The explosion struck the Port Authority bus terminal at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue near Times Square, injuring four people and filled the passageway with smoke, authorities said.
On the day of the attempted attack, Mayor Bill de Blasio assured New Yorkers that they are safe. "Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals".
Video of the incident shows dozens of commuters in the underground walkway when the explosion occurred. Sources say the bomb only partially detonated after malfunctioning.
"Preliminary investigation at the scene indicates that this male was wearing an improvised low-tech explosive device attached to his body. He intentionally detonated that device", O'Neill said. People immediately cleared the area, covering their heads as they ran from the blast. Authorities are investigating how it was made, but think the suspect may have made the bomb at work, CNN reported. A short piece of metal pipe was packed with low intensity explosive material and a handful of screws meant to cause injury.
Mr Ullah has, up to now, also held a clean record in the United States, with just traffic violations cited by the police.
"There was a stampede up the stairs to get out", said Diego Fernandez, one of the commuters at Port Authority.
The Inspector General of Police in Bangladesh, AKM Shahidul Haque, said Mr Ullah had had no criminal record in the country. "New York continues to remain the focus of interest. But we are also outraged by the behavior of law enforcement officials during this investigation", the statement continued. "These are not the actions that we expect from our justice system, and we hope to see better in the days and weeks to come". He and three others suffered injuries that are not life threatening, the NYPD said.
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"Nothing is going to change", she said. "We can't be scared".
According to the police, three subway lines - the A, C and E - were evacuated as a result of the blast.
Earlier, the New York Police Department tweeted that it was responding to reports of an explosion of unknown origin at 42nd Street and 8th Ave, Manhattan.
NY officials said the Islamic State terrorist group inspired the suspect but that he did not have direct contact with the group.
Bratton said the explosion took place in one of the passageways at the Port Authority subway station, although was not certain which one.
- That license lapsed and was not renewed in March 2015, Fromberg said.
President Donald Trump was briefed on the NY explosion, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
Sanders followed up during the afternoon White House press briefing to call the incident terrorism and praise responders on the scenes.