Manhattan subway bomber sentenced to life plus 30 yrs in prison

Adds details, quote from judge, background

NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) - A Bangladeshi man convicted of setting off a pipe bomb during rush hour in New York City's busiest subway station, Times Square, was sentenced on Thursday to life plus 30 years in prison.

Akayed Ullah, 31, of Brooklyn had claimed he wanted to kill only himself and was not acting on behalf of Islamic State when he detonated his homemade bomb on Dec. 11, 2017.

U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan, who imposed the sentence, called the attack a "truly barbaric and heinous crime."

No one died and four people were injured in the explosion, which caused the temporary closure of the station and the adjacent Port Authority Bus Terminal. Ullah was burned in the attack.

The bomb materials had come from a nearby construction site where Ullah worked as an electrician.

Prosecutors had said Ullah was angry with then-President Donald Trump and with U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, and that Islamic State propaganda inspired him to kill, maim and terrorize as many commuters as possible in a "lone wolf" attack.

Lawyers for Ullah argued that a mandatory 35-year prison term was more than enough punishment, calling the attack an "aberration" in an otherwise peaceful life.

Ullah had a green card at the time of the attack. He lived with his mother, sister and two brothers in Brooklyn, while his wife and infant son, who is now 3 years old, lived in Bangladesh.

After the attack, Trump criticized the visa program that allowed Ullah to enter the United States in 2011 because he had family there, calling such family visas "incompatible with national security."

Ullah was convicted in November 2018. Sullivan presided over Ullah's case when he was a federal district judge.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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