New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said: "This is the most resilient place on earth, we proved it just over a month ago, we proved it on 9/11".
Akayed Ullah told police investigators he wanted to avenge USA airstrikes on the Islamic State group and was also inspired by Christmas terror plots in Europe, and chose the location for his attack by the Christmas posters on the subway walls, U.S. media reported. He is believed to have made the bomb himself with the intent of harming others.
Three other people are being treated for non-life threatening injuries, according to New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro. No other threats were apparent, the mayor said.
"Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals".
Authorities attributed the minimal damage from the simple device attached to Ullah's chest to a malfunction.
A photo taken shortly after the explosion shows a bearded man on the ground, with his hands in cuffs behind his back.
Police said Ullah, who was also injured in the blast, is in custody.
The device was based on a pipe bomb and affixed to the suspect's body with a combination of velcro and zip ties, said John Miller, the deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism for the NYPD. The source says "it did not fully detonate which possibly caused the injury". It is unclear whether the device was set off intentionally or went off prematurely but the suspect was found with a second device as wlel.
At the press conference on Monday, reporters asked police authorities why New York City seems to be seeing more frequent occurrence of terror attacks in recent days. "The choice of NY is always for a reason, because we are beacons of the world".
The incident occurred less than two months after an Uzbek immigrant killed eight people by speeding a rental truck down a New York City bike path, in an attack for which Islamic State claimed responsibility.