Brooklyn subway attack suspect ordered to be held without bail

Frank James (62) makes first appearance in federal court over assault on morning train

The man charged over a New York subway attack earlier this week has been ordered to be held without bail, with prosecutors saying he terrified the “entire city”.

Frank James was arrested in Manhattan on Wednesday, a day after the Brooklyn attack, and made his first appearance in federal court on Thursday.

Authorities say he unleashed smoke bombs and dozens of bullets in a train full of morning commuters, shooting 10 people.

All were expected to survive.

Investigators are continuing the examine the possible motive for the attack.

Mr James (62) is charged with a federal terrorism offence, which pertains to violent attacks on mass transit systems.

There is no evidence connecting him to terror organisations, international or otherwise, at this time, authorities say.

Mr James spoke only to answer “yes” to standard questions during the brief proceeding in a federal court in Brooklyn on Thursday.

Assistant US attorney Sara K Winik, prosecuting, said: "The defendant's attack was premeditated, was carefully planned, and it caused terror among the victims and our entire city."

In court papers, prosecutors called the shooting calculated, saying that Mr James wore a hard hat and construction worker-style jacket as a disguise and then shed them after the gunfire to avoid recognition.

Prosecutors suggested Mr James had the means to carry out more attacks, noting that he had ammunition and other gun-related items in a Philadelphia storage unit.

His lawyer, Mia Eisner-Grynberg, agreed to his being held without bail, at least for now. His attorneys could seek bail later on.

Judge Roanne Mann ordered Mr James to be held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

At the request of Mr James’s lawyers, Ms Justice Mann said she would ask the Federal Bureau of Prisons to provide him with “psychiatric attention”. – AP/Reuters