New York shooter Frank James indicted on terrorism charge

Bronx native suspected of injuring 23 people could face life in prison if convicted

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A US federal jury has indicted Frank James on terrorism and other charges stemming from an attack on a New York City subway last month that injured 23 people.

The indictment in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York charges James with conducting a terrorist attack and other violence against a mass transport system as well as discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

If convicted on the terrorism charge, James could face life in prison.

Lawyers representing James did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

James is accused of setting off smoke bombs and shooting 10 people inside a New York City subway car in Brooklyn. Thirteen others were injured in the rush to escape the violence, police said.

Police located James eight kilometres from the attack on 36th Street Station, 30 hours after a manhunt was launched.

Officials said they had tracked him down after receiving tips from residents who recognised him from photos released by the police.

James also alerted police to his whereabouts, telling authorities on a hotline that he was at a McDonald's restaurant in Manhattan's Lower East Side.

A Bronx native, James has 12 prior arrests that occurred between 1990 and 2007, the New York City Police Department said. He was previously arrested on a felony but was not prohibited from purchasing a firearm.

The gun used by James in the attack was purchased at an Ohio pawn broker in 2011. Authorities recovered the firearm at the scene along with three extended-ammunition magazines, a torch, a hatchet, fireworks and a container of petrol.

Police also found James's bank card, mobile phone and a key to a U-Haul van he had rented.

The motive for the attack remains unclear. In numerous rants he posted on YouTube, James, who is black, made bigoted remarks about people of various backgrounds and railed against New York Mayor Eric Adams while complaining about the mental health care he received in the city years ago.

A federal judge ordered James to be held in jail without bail and an arraignment date has not yet been set, the US attorney’s office for New York’s Eastern District said.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: May 09, 2022, 3:48 PM