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New Year’s Eve security tightened after botched NYC bomb attack

Security preparations for New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York’s Times Square will be altered following a botched suicide bombing in a subway tunnel, the city’s counterterrorism chief has said. Akayed Ullah, 27, has ben charged with terrorism crimes after detonating a pipe bomb in the pedestrian tunnel on Monday. John Miller, deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, said the New York Police Department will carry out an “immediate” and “in-depth” review of the attempted attack. He said: “This is the first time I believe that we have seen an individual with a suicide bomb in mass transit and actually have that bomb function.

“So we’re going to take a hard look at it.”

Image: Attack suspect Akayed Ullah

Plans for security in the New Year will also consider other attacks such as the Las Vegas sniper shooting on 1 October, in which 58 people were killed and more than 500 people wounded, Mr Miller said. An increased police presence will be seen around mass transit and public gatherings, he added. In the short term, that will likely mean more heavily armed and specially trained officers on the streets, as well as more police dogs, bag screenings and checkpoints. Chemicals inside the pipe bomb ignited, but the pipe itself did not explode, officials have said.

Ullah, from Bangladesh, was seriously hurt in the blast during Monday morning rush hour . But the malfunctioning device resulted in only minor injuries for three other people. Acting US attorney Joon Kim said Ullah planned to “murder as many human beings as he could.. . in support of a vicious terrorist cause”. Court papers filed by federal prosecutors claim he told police officers after the blast that “I did it for Islamic State”. He is believed to have begun viewing pro IS material online in 2014 and prosecutors claim he carried out the attack because he was angry over US policy in the Middle East. On the morning of the attack, he posted on his Facebook page1 “Trump you failed to protect your nation”.

He has been charged with providing material support to terrorists and using weapons of mass destruction. Ullah could appear in court on Wednesday via video link.

More from NEW YORK ATTACK

Investigators in Bangladesh are questioning his wife, officials told Reuters news agency . The couple have a six-month-old boy.

President Donald Trump claimed the bombing underlined a need for changes to the US imigration system, which he clamed is “lax” and “allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people” into the US.

References

  1. ^ posted on his Facebook page (news.sky.com)

Security measures that caused rugby delays are here to stay, says …

Enhanced security measures that caused thousands of rugby fans to miss the kick off for the Australia match are here to stay, said a defiant Welsh Rugby Union on Saturday evening. Rugby fans missed kick off for the opening autumn international because of huge queues to get into the Principality Stadium on Saturday. Supporters were left standing in the rain outside several gates as a result of enhanced security checks because of the unprecedented terror threat in the UK.

Fans queuing at the stadium as the game kicks off Fans queue at the stadium

Stadium chiefs had warned fans to get to the stadium early1 , with every supporter due to be searched for the first time ever . A warning was also issued stating large bags and umbrellas would not be allowed into the ground.

TV pictures inside the Principality showed scores of empty seats as the players emerged from the tunnel, with BBC TV presenter John Inverdale raising the issue on air . A crowd of more than 66,000 was due at the match. The WRU said after the match: “Enhanced security measures ensure everybody entering Principality Stadium is checked on arrival at the turnstiles . For the Under Armour Series, we have doubled the pre-game opening hours to three hours to give fans the opportunity to avoid the queues and we have made every effort to communicate to supporters to plan to arrive early and leave large bags and large umbrellas at home to avoid missing kick off.

“We received great support from all of our partners, including the media, South Wales Police and Cardiff Council, getting this message out in the build up to today s event.

“The safety and enjoyment of our visitors is of paramount importance.

“Welsh rugby fans are renowned for their contribution to the fantastic atmosphere inside the venue and vital support they give to the team on the pitch.

“Today thousands of fans enjoyed our new and improved pre-match entertainment schedule from three hours before kick-off, including live music and early bird offers at our retail units.

“It is important to stress that these security measures are here to stay and we don t want anyone to miss kick off.

“We will continue to urge supporters to allow more time for getting in to the stadium in future, as these checks are vital to the safety of all attendees.”

Thousands of fans remain in queues with just two minutes before the start of the game.

Tom Lee-wah from Cardiff said the price of the ticket didn’t warrant having to queue and miss part of the match. Another fan said she had been waiting for nearly half an hour in the rain.

“We’ve missed the great atmosphere now . Normally we like to go in and get a drink and take it all in before the match starts but we have missed all that.

“We were told we should come earlier because of the security check but we did come thirty minutes before kick off.”

Several fans took to social media to vent their frustration about the situation, with some describing scenes of chaos at the crowded gates. One, Tom Lewis, reported being stuck in a queue for an hour with no sign of movement, while fans at Gate 7 told WalesOnline they had no chance of making kick-off despite turning up 40 minutes before the scheduled start time.

Supporter Hattie Jones tweeted the Principality Stadium, saying: “We’ve been queuing for 65 minutes but are still told the queue is more than 60 minutes . Five minutes away from kick-off . Are there any refunds available.”

Cardiff MP Stephen Doughty called the crowd handling at Gate 1 an “utter shambles”. He said in a tweet he’d “never known it so bad in 18 years” and had reported his concerns to South Wales Police and the WRU.

There were also reports of female fans getting to the front of queues only to be sent to other queues by male stewards who were unable to search women. The WRU issued a detailed warning to fans earlier this week but it appears many were unaware just how thorough the checks would be in comparison to previous games. Small bags and handbags were permitted, provided they were no larger than 35cm x 40cm x 19cm.

References

  1. ^ Stadium chiefs had warned fans to get to the stadium early (www.walesonline.co.uk)

Two robbers attack Morrisons security guard in Burntwood at 10am

Two robbers attacked a security guard then stole a cash box in a broad daylight robbery outside a Staffordshire supermarket. The attackers struck just before 10am on Monday morning outside Morrisons supermarket in Milestone Way, Burntwood. A G4S security guard was attacked by two men who then made off in a white Ford CMAX car.

The guard was not injured in the attack and the cash box was discovered close by on a traffic island and had been emptied of its contents.

Morrisons in Burntwood.

Police say the Ford CMAX, which was stolen over the weekend from the West Midlands area, was found abandoned in nearby Juniper Close. The offenders then made off on foot towards Hawthorne Crescent and are believed to have made their escape in a silver or grey vehicle driven by another suspect. Two men involved in the robbery are described as white, in their late 30s or early 40s and both were wearing dark clothing .

One of the men also wore a high-visibility vest.

A Ford CMAX siilar to the one reported stolen.

Detective Inspector Steve Chadwick said: This robbery appears to have been well planned and took place in broad daylight outside a busy supermarket.

Anyone who witnessed the robbery or has any information that could help with our investigation is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 200 of 6 November .

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.