The blast - which took place at about 7am yesterday (8pm Singapore time) in the station at the Port Authority bus terminal, not far from New York's iconic Times Square - sparked commuter panic and travel disruptions.
According to the police, three subway lines - the A, C and E - were evacuated.
Police, who have labelled it an attempted terror attack, say Ullah was inspired by the Islamic State, but had apparently not had any direct contact with the terror group. He set off the device around 7:30 a.m. near 42 Street and and between Seventh and Eighth Ave, injuring three people.
"Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals", said NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
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.
Commuters can be seen covering their heads and running from the scene, as the passage fills with smoke.
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ABCNews reported that the police have arrested one person, who suffered minor injuries from the explosion, adding that few others were also injured.
"Could have been a lot worse", a federal law enforcement source told CNN. He heard both blasts distinctly even though he was wearing headphones. "It was two distinct explosions seconds from each other".
"I was going through the turnstile", he said.
The explosive device was found on a subway platform, Fox News reported, citing police.
John Miles was waiting for a bus to MA when he saw police bounding through the massive facility.
At the White House, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters, "This attack underscores the need for Congress to work with the president on immigration reforms that enhance our national security and public safety".