ISIS has claimed responsibility for a lone-wolf terror attack near the site of the 9/11 attacks that left 8 people dead and more injured. While the claim of responsibility isn’t unusual, this attack looks like it fits the pattern much more closely than some of the others. So is this more evidence of a growing terrorist threat in America?
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, is in custody. He remains hospitalized after being shot by a NYPD officer during his rampage. Saipov, an immigrant in the United States legally, pledged allegiance to ISIS before the attack.
Saipov rented a truck from Home Depot. He drove this truck over a bike path in lower Manhattan and ran over pedestrians. At the end of this, he rammed a school bus. After he wrecked his truck, he ran. In his hands, he carried a pellet gun and a paintball gun.
Officers responding to the incident shot him when he failed to comply. At least one bullet hit him in the abdomen, and he fell and was then arrested and taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery.
Investigators found four notes in the truck. In these messages, Saipov pledged his allegiance to ISIS and wrote phrases like “ISIS lives forever.”They also found an ISIS flag in the truck.
The full picture of Saipov is being pieced together now. He came to the U.S. in 2010 from Uzbekistan. He has a green-card. He’d lived in Florida, Ohio, and in New Jersey. His most recent employment was with Uber, where he passed background checks needed to work as a driver.
He didn’t use his own vehicle in the attack. Instead, he rented a truck from Home Depot in Passaic, New Jersey. Saipov is married and has children.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press conference after the attack and said authorities believe Uzbekistan had been radicalized here, after he immigrated. “He is a depraved coward is what he is. He is associated with ISIS and he was radicalized domestically,” Cuomo said.
Saipov’s friends are expressing the typical shock and horror. Kobiljon Matkarov, 37, of Maimisburg, Ohio, knew Saipov. “He is very good guy, he is very friendly… he is like little brother… he look at me like big brother,” he told The New York Post.
“My kids like him too, he is always playing with them. He is playing all the time,” he said.
President Trump has been vocal about the attack. “President Trump lashed out at Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday morning as he pointed out that terror suspect Saipov entered the US on a visa he drafted into legislation,” The Daily Mail writes.
“The terrorist came into our country through what is called the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based,” Trump tweeted.