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With lone wolf attacks ‘almost impossible’ to prevent, resilience expert Stephen Flynn stresses importance of swift response | WNYC

Police stand guard in front of the Port Authority Bus Terminal near New York’s Times Square following an explosion on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Police say the explosion happened in an underground passageway under 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Police stand guard in front of the Port Authority Bus Terminal near New York’s Times Square following an explosion on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Police say the explosion happened in an underground passageway under 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

An improvised explosive device was detonated near New York City’s Times Square during rush hour on Monday morning. According to officials, only the suspect was seriously injured when the device went off in an underground passageway.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident an attempted terrorist attack.

“Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals,” Mayor de Blasio said.

The incident unfolded around 7:20 a.m., in a below-ground walkway (IND line & 42nd Street & 8th Ave) connecting the Port Authority bus terminal to the NYC IRT 42nd & 7th Avenue Shuttle at Times Square.

The suspect, identified by New York Police as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, was arrested at the scene with burns and wounds to his body. According to investigators, Ullah was wearing an improvised explosive device that he intentionally detonated. Three people who were near the explosion sustained minor injuries, police said.

Though “lone-wolf” attacks such as these are “almost impossible to prevent,” Global Resilience Institute (GRI) Director Stephen Flynn stressed the importance of a swift and efficient response in an interview with WNYC on Monday afternoon.

“I think there’s some reassurance that we can take from this incident, in terms of the speed at which the police were able to isolate what had happened, and isolate as well the parts of the system that need to be shut down while keeping the rest of the system going,” Flynn said.

To listen to the full interview use the player above or, CLICK HERE