The family of the alleged terrorist bomber Akayed Ullah -- who is accused of detonating a pipe bomb in New York City on Monday -- released a statement through an attorney that they were “heartbroken” by the attack. Nevertheless, the family also condemned law enforcement agencies for they consider heavy-handed tactics. Attorney Albert Fox Cahn, who serves as legal director of the New York chapter of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), read the statement. 

“We are heartbroken by the violence that was targeted at our city today and by the allegations being made against a member of our family,” said Cahn. "But we’re also outraged by the behavior of the law enforcement officials who held children as small as 4 years old out in the cold and who pulled a teenager out of high school classes to interrogate him without lawyer, without his parents.”

Whether or not the 4-year-old or the teenager mentioned were were related to the suspect was not made clear in the statement.

Despite the accusation, backed by surveillance video, that Ullah launched a botched terror attack at the Port Authority subway stop during rush hour, the family disparaged the response by police. “These are not the sorts of actions we expect from our justice system,” the statement read.

“We have every confidence that our justice system will find the truth behind this attack and that we will in the end be able learn what occurred today.”

Ullah had the pipe bomb attached to his body. It failed to detonate properly, but injured him and three others. He was arrested and taken to a hospital to receive treatment.

The bombing rekindled debate over immigration. Ullah was a permanent legal resident who came to the U.S. with an F43 visa, which allows family members of American citizens entry to the country. It is not clear whether he was employed when he allegedly fabricated and set off the bomb. He is 27 years old and entered the U.S. at the age of 20 with his mother from their native Bangladesh. Termed "chain migration," the practice has been condemned specifically by President Donald Trump. The president, in the wake of the bombing, again called on Congress to pass significant immigration reform.

Ullah reportedly learned how to make the bomb after visiting website. According to police, he attempted the suicide bombing out of revenge for recent clashes between Israel and terrorists, and in the name of the Islamic State (ISIS).

The Council on American Islamic Relations has frequently represented the families of accused terrorists, answering questions about those families while also explaining Islam. CAIR was an unindicted conspirator in a terrorism-related federal case and has been barred in certain Muslim countries.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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