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    PLAYING DEFENSE

    Lawyer: Alleged NYC Subway Bomber Not Inspired by ISIS

    Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    The defense attorney for an alleged New York City subway bomber told a court Tuesday that her client, Akayed Ullah, was not inspired by ISIS, Courthouse News reports. Ullah, 28, allegedly injured five people last year when a pipe bomb in his backpack went off near New York Port Authority Bus Terminal on West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue. “Tooling around on the internet does not make you an ISIS member,” lawyer Julia Gatto reportedly told the court in her opening statement at trial, adding that prosecutors were “fundamentally wrong about ISIS’ role” in the bombing. According to prosecutors, Ullah admitted during an interrogation that he conducted the bombing “for the Islamic State,” and authorities allegedly found nine ISIS propaganda videos on his laptop. Gatto reportedly called Ullah “depressed and unsound,” saying he “retreated to the internet” and received “distorted messaging” about the mistreatment of Muslims worldwide.

    Ullah’s lawyer also reportedly claimed he was in a “mental health fog” and only meant to hurt himself in the attack. Shortly before the attack, Ullah wrote on Facebook, “Trump you failed to protect your nation,” prosecutors said. Ullah faces six charges, including “providing support to a foreign terrorist organization” and “use of a weapon of mass destruction.” He could receive a life sentence if convicted on all charges.