The Uzbek immigrant accused of mowing down people along a bike path near the World Trade Center left a handwritten note referring to the Islamic State group and had been radicalized in the U.S., New York’s governor said Wednesday.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, a New York police department official says the driver in the deadly truck bombing had been planning it for weeks and did it “in the name of ISIS.”
Deputy Commissioner John Miller made the remarks at a briefing Wednesday by city, state and federal officials.
He says there were “multiple knives” in addition to imitation guns displayed by the attacker, who was wounded by a police officer.
Hundreds of detectives worked through the night following the Tuesday attack. Among other things, they’ve been “meticulously” collecting security video along the highway that the suspect used before mowing down people on a bike path next to the World Trade Center, killing eight people.
New York City Fire Commissioner Joseph Nigro (NY’-groh) says four people remain in critical but stable condition following the Manhattan truck attack that claimed eight lives.
Nigro and other officials spoke Wednesday at a briefing, one day after an attack along a bike path near the World Trade Center.
Police Chief of Department Carlos Gomez says security enhancements include heavy weapons teams throughout the city.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says victims from other countries will forever be considered New Yorkers.
Authorities found a note inside the rented Home Depot pickup truck.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the suspect was a “depraved coward” who tried to create terror. Cuomo gave no details on the note except to say it referred to the Islamic State.
“He was associated with ISIS and he was radicalized domestically,” he said on CNN. “It’s not the first time. It’s a global phenomenon now.”
In a number of recent extremist attacks around the world, the assailants were found to have been inspired but not actually directed by the Islamic State, and in some cases never even made contact with the group.
In Tuesday’s attack, Saipov hurtled down the bike path, running down cyclists and pedestrians, then crashed into a school bus, authorities said. He was shot in the abdomen after he jumped out of the vehicle brandishing air guns and yelling “God is great!” in Arabic, they said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio called it “a cowardly act of terror.”
A roughly two-mile stretch of highway in lower Manhattan was shut down for the investigation. Authorities also converged on a New Jersey apartment building and a van in a parking lot at a New Jersey Home Depot.
Police and the FBI urged members of the public to come forward with any photos or video that could help.
In the past few years, the Islamic State has been exhorting followers to use vehicles or other close-at-hand means of killing people in their home countries. England, France and Germany have seen deadly vehicle attacks in the past year or so.
President Donald Trump railed against the Islamic State on Twitter and declared “Enough!” and “NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”
On Wednesday, the president took a swipe at the Senate’s top Democrat, saying Saipov came to the U.S. under a visa lottery program — “a Chuck Schumer beauty.” He urged tougher immigration measures based on merit.
Schumer, who represents New York, said in a statement that he has always believed that immigration “is good for America.”
Records show Saipov was a commercial truck driver who formed a pair of businesses in Ohio. He had also driven for Uber.
Mirrakhmat Muminov, 38, of Stow, Ohio, said he knew Saipov because they were both Uzbek truck drivers. He portrayed Saipov as an argumentative young man whose work was falling apart and who “was not happy with his life.”
Muminov said Saipov lost his insurance on his truck after his rates shot up because of a few traffic tickets, and companies stopped hiring him. Muminov said he heard from Saipov’s friends that Saipov’s truck engine blew up a few months ago in New Jersey.
Muminov said Saipov would get into arguments with his friends and family, tangling over even small things, such as going to a picnic with the Uzbek community.
“He had the habit of disagreeing with everybody. He was never part of the community. He was always alone, no respect for elders, no respect for community,” Muminov said.
He said he and Saipov would sometimes argue about politics and world affairs, including about Israel and Palestine. He said Saipov never spoke about ISIL, but he could tell he held radical views.
Story by The Associated Press.