Iowa student and driver die in school bus fire

iStock/Thinkstock(DES MOINES) -- An Iowa school bus became engulfed in flames this morning, killing the driver and a student who were on board, according to authorities.

The bus began its route about 7 a.m. in the farm town of Oakland before backing out of one home's driveway and landing in a ditch where it caught fire, Pottawattamie County officials said.

“[The bus] was backing out of the driveway, and ended up in the opposite side ditch and a fire ensued; and the driver and one student was unable to get off the bus,” Sheriff’s Office Lt. Rob Ambrose told reporters at the scene.

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office identified the driver as Donald Hendricks, 74, and the student as Megan Klindt, 16.

They were the only people on board, authorities said.

The Riverside Community School District did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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New Yorkers resume routines after terror attack: 'You can't stop living'

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Twenty-four hours after a homemade explosive was detonated in a New York City subway passageway, New Yorkers are back to their daily routines -- including walking through that same tunnel on their way to work.

The Monday morning explosion occurred in an underground passageway near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, sending commuters scrambling to evacuate a major transit hub just blocks from Times Square. Five people suffered minor injuries.

Commuter Robin Danzy told ABC News she "was about to come down into the train station" at the time.

"I just missed it," she added.

Today, as Danzy walked along the same passageway, she said, "You would never know that anything happened yesterday from the people going back and forth."

But Danzy said she's "nervous."

"It's really, really scary," Danzy said. "But you can't stop living. You can't stop going to work. There's really nothing you can do except hope that police who are trained in anti-terrorism are able to spot whatever's going on. You just keep moving. And you hopefully have a strong belief in the man upstairs. What else can you do?"

With 6 million riders a day, NYPD Counterterrorism Chief James Waters told ABC News the subway system is safe and he vowed it would stay that way.

The bombing suspect, Akayed Ullah, 27, is "intending to cause death and destruction and fear in New York City, and he’s just not going to accomplish that," Waters said.

Ullah, who was badly injured from the explosion, made statements to police indicating he “was inspired by ISIS to carry out” the attack and said, “I did it for the Islamic State,” according to the charging document.

There is no evidence he received funding or specific direction from any overseas group, police sources say.

Ullah is charged with five federal counts, including use of a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use.

Joon Kim, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a news conference today that Ullah allegedly aimed to "murder as many innocent human beings as he could and to blow himself up in the process -- all in support of a vicious terrorist cause."

The event comes less than two months after a man plowed a truck into a crowd on a lower Manhattan bike path, killing eight people.

The man accused of carrying out that attack, Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was allegedly "inspired" to commit it after watching ISIS videos on his cellphone and he "wanted to kill as many people as he could," according to a federal criminal complaint filed by prosecutors.

Kim said New York City "consistently remains" a prime target for terrorism.

"We are targeted by those whose poisoned minds think that killing innocent Americans here in this city will somehow advance their twisted ideology," he said.

There are no credible and specific threats against New York City at this time, officials said Monday.

Hours after Monday's explosion, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted, "Let’s get back to our daily business. We will never allow them to disrupt us. That’s exactly what they want."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's press secretary even tweeted a photo of the mayor riding the subway Monday afternoon, writing, "New Yorkers won’t be deterred."

 Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson walked through the tunnel under Port Authority this morning as part of his daily commute 24 hours after the attack.

"My daily commute is frequently through this bus station on the way to work," Johnson said. "Yesterday at this time I walked above ground between 8th and 7th Avenue on 42nd Street ... at the time of the attack."

Johnson told ABC News, "Today I wanted to make a point of coming through this subway, this specific passage at this exact time, to really demonstrate what a lot of New Yorkers are demonstrating -- which is that events like this happen, but we're strong, we're resilient, we go on and we are not afraid."

"It's important in the face of an event like this," he said, "to show that terrorism cannot prevail if people refuse to be terrorized."

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Inside new technology being developed to protect bus, train travelers

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) --  To get on a plane, passengers have to go through TSA checks, but rail and bus stations have little security presence, leaving travelers more vulnerable.

To address the issue without creating long lines and elaborate checkpoints, The Department of Homeland Security is trying to employ technology.

Inside a secure lab outside Washington D.C., DHS and researchers at Johns Hopkins University are developing a centimeter wave sensor system.

The system would work inside panels incorporated in to the walls of subway and bus stations. Using radio waves from WiFi, the system would look specifically for particular items like metal or liquid objects.

The sensor system is "taking advantage of signals that are very low to give us indicators of what you have in your bag, what you may be carrying under jacket," Don Roberts, the science and technology program manager at the Department of Homeland Security, told ABC News.

DHS is also working on what could be a massive leap forward in how videos cameras are used across surface transportation, developing something called FOVEA, or Forensic Video Exploitation and Analysis. This computer program would monitor video feeds that mass transportation systems already have in place to determine if a bag has been left unattended in a station or someone poses a threat. Operators would be able to rewind tape, highlight persons of interest and search other cameras to locate possible perpetrators.

These systems are still in development by DHS, but could be implemented across the country in the next three to five years, according to DHS.

“We look at this technology as a force multiplier, we look at this as being eyes that can’t necessarily be in every place," Roberts said.

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How gun laws have changed in the 5 years since Sandy Hook

iStock/Thinkstock(NEWTOWN, Conn.) -- Shannon Watts, a mother of five who became a gun control activist in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, thought her advocacy work was going to be over shortly after it began.

On December 15, 2012, the day after 20 students and six educators were killed by a shooter in Newtown, Conn., Watts started a Facebook group that would eventually become Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

“I have never been impacted by gun violence personally," Watts, who lives in Colorado, told ABC News. "I was just incredibly angry after the Sandy Hook shooting because I was seeing pundits on television saying the solution to the horrific tragedy there was arming teachers. And just as an American and as a mom, I knew that wasn’t right."

Many, like Watts, thought the killing of children and teachers would be a turning point in the fight for gun control. But months later, two major pieces of legislation -- the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 and the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would have required universal background checks for firearm sales -- both failed to pass the Senate.

“I can remember thinking, ‘Our work here is done, we tried really hard and we weren’t able to pass this law,’” Watts said of the Manchin-Toomey amendment’s failure.

But rather than quit the fight, Watts said her group and “all of these brilliant, type-A women” who were motivated to change laws after the shooting instead “started pivoting to the states.”

Taking it to the states

The state level is where the majority of the action on gun legislation has happened in the past five years. All told, since Sandy Hook, there have been 210 new gun laws enacted to strengthen gun safety, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

That includes new background check laws in four states that didn’t have them before and expansions of existing background check laws in seven others, bringing the total to 18 states and the District of Columbia with background checks in place, according to the center.

 “Now 49 percent of Americans live in states with expanded background check laws,” Avery Gardiner, the co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told ABC News.

“In some states, people are considerably safer than they were five years ago from gun violence but that’s not true at the federal level. Overall as a nation, people are dying at far too great a rate,” Gardiner added.

Watts is far from alone in being motivated to act after Sandy Hook. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., had just been elected to move up from the House of Representatives to the Senate five weeks before the shooting. He said he was standing on a train platform on his way to Manhattan to take his young children to see the Rockettes when he learned what had happened.

“My life changed in December 2012. It’s not that I wasn’t emotionally connected to the issues I worked on prior to Sandy Hook, but there’s something different when 20 schoolkids are murdered in your backyard,” Murphy told ABC News.

“My kids were just a little bit younger than the kids that were killed, so this was personal,” he added.

Over the course of the past five years, Murphy has been outspoken in his calls for gun safety. In the past 12 months alone, he has sponsored one piece of federal legislation and co-sponsored nine other bills related to guns.

But federal legislation is not the path where gun control advocates have seen the most success. Murphy pointed to state-level laws, electing politicians that support tightened gun laws, and ballot referendums as meaningful ways that change has been enacted.

“We've found that referendums are a very potent tool,” Murphy said.

Referendums and ballot initiatives were what led to major changes in certain states, with all but one gun regulation-related law passing.

Background checks were passed in both Washington and Nevada, although the Nevada law has yet to be enacted. A referendum in California led to a number of regulation expansions, including background checks on certain ammunition purchases and requirements for reporting of lost or stolen firearms. The one referendum that failed was a background check measure in Maine.

“Change is going to be very hard in Washington and I think it’s likely that we're going to continue to look at referendums as a way to make change,” Murphy said.

Wins for Second Amendment advocates

The 2013 failures of the Assault Weapons Ban and the Manchin-Toomey Amendment stand out as the two biggest blows to federal gun control legislation, but gun rights advocates have celebrated other legislative wins since the Sandy Hook shooting as well.

The NRA spokesperson added that while the group and its members felt that they were playing defense during the Obama administration, they now can switch to offense with the current Republican majorities in the House and Senate and with Trump in the White House. Trump has made his support of the NRA clear too, becoming the first president since Ronald Reagan to address the group as president.

Most recently, the House of Representatives passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, allowing people who have a concealed carry permit from one state to use it in all other states. The National Rifle Association hailed it as a victory on Dec. 6.

"This vote marks a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights," Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.

 He went on to call the act's passage in the House "the culmination of a 30-year movement recognizing the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves, and their loved ones, including when they cross state lines."

Aside from the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, an NRA spokesperson told ABC News that the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke were all victories for Second Amendment supporters.

Gorsuch's appointment is seen as a win in upholding the court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, a 2008 case where the Supreme Court ruled that the handgun ban in Washington, D.C. that stipulated that guns to be kept unloaded and disassembled violated the residents' rights to bear arms in their own homes for self-defense. Gun rights advocates worried that if Hillary Clinton were elected, she would appoint a justice to help overturn it, but Gorsuch has called the decision "the law of the land."

Both Zinke and Sessions have lessened gun regulations in their respective departments as well.

Zinke signed an order in September allowing expanded hunting and fishing on federal lands, which involved the expansion of the types of ammunition allowed on those lands. The order was met with praise from gun rights groups.

In October, Sessions' Justice Department narrowed the federal definition of fugitives to only apply to people who cross state lines, as opposed to fugitives who remained in their home state, according to a memo that has been verified by a DOJ official to ABC News.

A DOJ official told ABC News that since changing the definition, the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Systems Division has issued further guidance to those who input fugitive data into the background check system, which is formally called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

“The Justice Department is committed to working with law enforcement partners across the country to help ensure that all those who can legally be determined to be prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm be included in federal criminal databases,” the official said.

Gun control advocates, like Gardiner at the Brady Campaign, are opposed to the change to the definition of a fugitive.

“Why would you make it easier for people who are fleeing police to buy guns?” Gardiner said.

Rate of change

Laura Cutilletta has worked at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence for 15 years. The group has since joined with former Rep. Gabby Giffords in the wake of Sandy Hook and is now known as the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Cutilletta said she has noticed a definite change in attitudes about guns the last five years.

“The public, even though they’ve always been in support of strengthening gun laws, it hasn’t always been obvious to the public just how bad our gun laws are," Cutilletta told ABC News. "So when Newtown happened, people couldn’t help but notice because it was such a horrific event and people became more educated, more aware, and became mobilized to do something about it."

That was the case for Watts, whose group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, now has 4 million members and chapters in each state.

And it was the case for Murphy.

“I’m embarrassed by the fact that I didn’t work on the issue of gun violence before Sandy Hook,” Murphy said, adding that it makes him want to “kick himself” for not acting on the issue sooner.

“My eyes were opened to the broader epidemic after Sandy Hook,” Murphy added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Boy behind viral anti-bullying video amazed by support, celebrity responses

ABC News(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- A young Tennessee boy whose story gained national attention after his mother posted a heart-wrenching video of him addressing his bullies said he is amazed by all the support he's received on social media this week.

Eleven-year-old Keaton Jones said he “never imagined” his story would gain the attention of dozens of celebrities, including Donald Trump Jr., who offered him an invitation to his home.

“All this attention really just feels amazing,” Keaton said in an interview with ABC News’ Good Morning America. “[I’m] speechless, honestly. I did not ever imagine for any of this to happen.

“I think my message is being heard because, I mean, we’ve gone national. So many people are supporting us,” he added.

Keaton became an internet sensation this week after his mother, Kimberly Jones, posted a video on Facebook showing Keaton’s sobbing as he described how he was bullied by classmates, who poured milk over his head, stuffed ham in his clothes and threw bread at him.

“Why do they bully, what's the point of it?" Jones said in the video, which was first posted Friday. "Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them? It's not OK."

Keaton today said he made the video because he wanted to let people know that bullying is ”a serious thing.”

“I made the video to raise awareness for bullying, not for fame or fortune, it was not at all for that. It was to raise awareness to bullying,” he said. “[It’s] a serious thing that goes on in our society. People criticize other people for the way they look and act; it's not their fault.”

Musicians, actors, TV personalities and athletes have responded to Keaton’s video on social media using the trending hashtag #StandWithKeaton to show their support for the middle school student.

Keaton said the most exciting celebrity response he got was from actor Chris Evans, who urged him to “stay strong” and invited him to Los Angeles to see the premiere of the Marvel Studios-produced “Avengers: Infinity War” next year.

“The most exciting celebrity for me is Chris Evans. I love Captain America,” Keaton said. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was little for Captain America to know who I am.

"Well, he knows who I am,” he added.

So does his Tennessee school district.

“To fulfill our mission of educating all children in Union County Public Schools, we must provide an academic environment that is safe, civil and supportive,” Union County Public Schools director James Carter said in a statement.

“We do not and will not tolerate bullying and have a policy in place that addresses conduct taking place on school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation or at any official school bus stop.”

Meanwhile, Keaton’s mom made an effort to dispute claims that she was using their story to extract money from people. She approved one GoFundMe campaign to be set up in Keaton’s honor, but cautioned that others were fakes.

Jones also addressed allegations that she was racist after pictures surfaced on social media of her holding a Confederate flag.

“I feel like anybody who wants to take the time to ask anybody who I am or even troll through some other pictures, I mean I feel like we're not racist,” Jones said. “I mean, people that know us, know us.”

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Coldest air of season heading for Northeast midweek

ABC News(NEW YORK) --  Unsettled and cold weather is forecast for the Great Lakes and the Northeast through the rest of the week with several rounds of snow.

A general 1 to 3 inches of snow fell in the Midwest and the Great Lakes from the Alberta Clipper system that moved through the area. Locally, more than 6 inches of snow fell due to the lake effect.

Behind the storm system is the coldest air of the season for the East Coast of the U.S.

Winter weather alerts are in place from Florida to Maine.

The storm system is moving into the Northeast on Tuesday morning with snow and rain. Most of the major cities on the I-95 corridor should just see some rain.

By Wednesday, the first clipper system exits the Northeast, but on its heels a new storm system will develop and approach the Great Lakes with more snow.

By Thursday morning, this new system will move into the mid-Atlantic states and could bring some snow from West Virginia to Maryland and into Pennsylvania, New Jersey and maybe even New York City and Long Island. ABC News meteorologists are not expecting much snow with this second system, but a dusting to 1 inch of snow is possible.

Over the next few days some areas from Michigan to western New York and New England could see up to 1 foot of snow.

In addition to the snow, the coldest air of the season is forecast Tuesday in the Great Lakes from Chicago to Detroit. This afternoon, wind chills will struggle to get above zero for the Great Lakes.

This cold blast moves into the Northeast Tuesday night into Wednesday with winds chills in the single digits and teens from Washington, D.C. to Boston.

Extreme dry weather

Extremely dry conditions and some gusty winds in Southern California has led the National Weather Service to extend the red flag warning for Ventura and Los Angeles counties through Wednesday.

The relative humidity could be lower than 5 percent in some areas.

Generally, dry offshore flow will continue for Southern California through Wednesday. Winds will not be as gusty as they were last week, but we cannot rule out a few gusts near 30 mph at times.

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What you need to know about Hanukkah

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  The Winter Jewish holiday known as the Festival of Lights begins at sundown December 12th.

Jewish people around the world celebrate this traditional holiday that lasts eight nights. The festival is not a “High Holy Day,” like Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah, but is a joyful celebration that recounts the story of a miracle.

What Hanukkah celebrates

Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah commemorates the story of the Maccabees, or Jewish fighters, and their victory over the Syrian-Greek army, according to

According to the Torah, the Maccabees reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and cleared it of idols that had been placed inside by the Syrians, a practice forbidden in Jewish law. The Maccabees wanted to light the temple’s seven-branched candelabrum, or Menorah, but realized they only had enough holy oil for one night. According to the story, a miracle happened and the oil lasted for eight days, allowing enough time to prepare new oil in the religious tradition. Now, Jewish people commemorate the miracle by lighting a Hannuhkiah, a special type of menorah that has eight regular candles and one special candle.

How Hanukkah is observed

The holiday begins on the evening of Kislev 25 in the Jewish lunar calendar, which generally falls sometime between late November and late December.

The Shamash, or special “attendant” candle, is lit first each night. It is then used to light all the other candles. On the first night, the Shamash would be used to light one other candle, on the second night, the Shamash is used to light the first and second candles, and so on. This continues every night until the eighth and final night of Hanukkah. Special prayers are said when lighting the candles and the lit Hannukiah is placed in a doorway or window.

To honor the miracle of the holy oil, Jewish people eat foods fried in oil. Latkes or potato pancakes paired with applesauce and sour cream, or jelly doughnuts are favorites at Hanukah celebrations.

Gifts are often exchanged on each night of Hanukkah, though this is more of a modern tradition, which many believe is inspired by other winter holidays where gifts are exchanged like Christmas, Kwanzaa and Three Kings Day.

Hanukkah games

Jewish children play with a “dreidel,” a four sided spinning top with Hebrew letters on each side. The letters spell out an acronym for “a great miracle happened here” and include Nun, Gimmel, Hei and Shin. In this game, each player starts with the same amount of playing pieces, typically chocolate coins called “gelt,” which take the place of real money. Players take turns spinning the dreidel and follow the instructions indicated by the letter the dreidel lands on. To start, each player places one piece of gelt in the center pot.

 These are the instructions for each letter:

  • Nun: “nothing” Nothing happens
  • Gimmel: “everything” the player takes the whole pot
  • Hei: “half” the player takes half the pot
  • Shin: “put in” the player places one piece in the pot

When a player is out of playing pieces, he or she may borrow a piece from a neighbor. The game is over when one player has all of the pieces.

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Texas man charged with planning US terror attack, supporting ISIS

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- A man in Texas has been arrested and charged with supporting ISIS, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya, an 18-year-old U.S. citizen from Houston, was charged with unlawfully distributing explosives information and attempting to provide material support to ISIS in a criminal complaint unsealed Monday morning.

According to the charges, Damlarkaya engaged in online communications with undercover FBI agents who he believed were ISIS supporters beginning in August.

He allegedly discussed his intentions to travel overseas and fight for ISIS. According to the criminal complaint, Damlarkaya attempted to go to Syria twice but failed.

He also allegedly stated that if he was not able to go abroad to fight for ISIS, he would plan an attack in the United States. In his correspondence, he allegedly provided a formula for the explosive Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP), and how to use it in a pressure cooker with shrapnel.

Damlarkaya allegedly asked the undercover FBI agents if he could provide a farewell video to inspire others if he followed through with an attack that resulted in his death.

Additionally, he provided instructions on how to build an AK-47 or AR-15 assault rifle from readily available parts in order to avoid detection from authorities. He even discussed potentially using a machete or samurai sword as weapons.

Damlarkaya explained to the supposed ISIS supporters, “If I buy a gun or supplies for a bomb, [law enforcement] will heat up pressure [j]ust like a few months ago when I was trying an operation but they found out.”

The criminal complaint against Damlarkaya says that he carried a knife wherever he went to protect himself from law enforcement. He also allegedly slept with a machete under his pillow in case his house was raided.

He faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

Damlarkaya was arrested last Friday and is being held pending a detention hearing on Dec. 14. The investigation into Damlarkaya was conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

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Family fleeing California wildfires thankful to have each other

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) --  As the Claffey family packed up what they could from their home in Carpinteria, California, 5-year-old Mazie Claffey begged to bring along the Christmas tree.

"This fire's really ruining my daughter's Christmas," Mazie's mom, Maureen Claffey, joked ABC News. "We keep joking that it's going to be a white Christmas ... the mountain is just white with ash."

The Claffey family were told to evacuate in the middle of the night as the massive Thomas fire draws nearer to their home.

The fire, the worst of five wildfires currently burning in California, grew by more than 50,000 acres on Sunday, making it the fifth-largest wildfire in the state's history, fire officials said. So far, officials estimate the Thomas fire has charred about 230,500 acres, the equivalent of about 360 square miles. It has consumed 794 structures and damaged about 190 others, with 18,000 buildings still at risk.

On Monday, the Claffey family packed up their home, grabbing their most important keepsakes. Though they couldn't pack the Christmas tree, they did grab their stockings, which were hand-knit by family members.

James Claffey focused on "material that has memories and can't be replaced" -- his mother's recipe books and childhood photographs.

"Everything else is transient and you can replace it," James Claffey said.

He added: "As long as we have the child, the wife and the whiskey all will be well!” Said the Irish transplant.

Maureen Claffey packed her wedding dress and jewelry. Her family has been farming in the area since the 1860s, she told ABC News.

"I've never seen anything like this before," she said. "It's kind of a slow-moving disaster."

She added: "You don't really know when life is gonna resume back to normal."

There is a silver lining, though. "[We've been] spending a lot of time together as a family," Maureen Claffey said. "Everyone’s been safe, our family's all safe."

As for Mazie, she couldn't take the tree but did manage to grab her favorite stuffed animals. "I brought all of my seals!" she told ABC News.

The little girl made sure to show her gratitude to the officials helping her family as well, drawing a colorful sign that read, "Thank you, firefighters!"

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Heroic officers pinned NYC terror suspect to the ground and removed bomb, official says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Even as panicked commuters rushed toward them, four officers didn't hesitate to engage the man accused of detonating an explosive in the New York City subway system this morning, leaping on top of the suspect and removing the device before more damage could be done.

The explosion occurred in an underground passageway near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, sending commuters scrambling to evacuate a major transit hub just blocks from Times Square. Despite the rush-hour crowds, only five people suffered minor injuries, officials said.

The 27-year-old suspect, Akayed Ullah, is in the hospital, badly injured in the arm and torso from the device that went off in his arms, law enforcement sources said.

Port Authority Police Department Officer Anthony Manfredini apprehended Ullah, with the help of three other officers: Sean Gallagher, Jack Collins and Drew Preston, Port Authority Police Benevolent Association President Paul Nunziato told ABC News Monday evening.

Manfredini was stationed just outside the corridor where the detonation occurred. He "saw the panic and commotion," radioed for help and then entered the corridor with the three other officers, Nunziato said.

"They engaged the suspect, who was on the ground, they handcuffed him, they saw wires, cellphone. They made a split-second decision to actually get on top of him and restrain him, and [Manfredini] actually removed the device off of his person before he could further detonate it," Nunziato said.

Nunziato praised the officers for their quick action. "It's a split-second decision based on training. Training and having the moxie to get in there, to put your life on the line. ... I'm extremely proud. They couldn’t have done it any better."

He added: "Those four guys are heroes."

 A law enforcement source said the bomb was built from a 12-inch-long pipe, black powder and rigged with a 9-volt battery and a wire that came from a Christmas light. Because it was strapped to the suspect, the assumption is he had been prepared to die a suicide bomber, the source said. The pipe had nails stuffed into it, the source said, and it had the ability to impose more injuries than it did.

“This could have been worse,” a law enforcement source told ABC News.

However, the pipe did not fully shatter and a 6-inch piece was discovered fully intact.

Ullah, originally from Bangladesh, told authorities he is self-inspired from ISIS online propaganda, sources said. Ullah told authorities no one directed him to carry out the attack and he talked about the plight of Muslims over the years, a law enforcement source said.

Video of the incident, shot by a surveillance camera, shows commuters walking in the passageway when the explosion erupts. The camera screen filled with smoke as people scattered.

Ullah was not expected to be charged Monday but eventually is set to face terror-related federal charges, a law enforcement source said.

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