VIDEO: New York governor says attack suspect was radicalized in U.S.

Eight people died in the attack in Manhattan

The Uzbek immigrant accused of using a truck to mow people down along a bike path, killing eight, “did this in the name of ISIS,” police said Wednesday.

Investigators, meanwhile, were at the hospital bedside of 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, working to extract information about the attack Tuesday near the World Trade Center memorial that also left 12 people injured, a law enforcement official said.

The official, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Saipov was lucid after surgery for wounds suffered when he was shot by police outside his rented Home Depot pickup truck.

READ: Several dead after vehicle rams Manhattan bike path

John Miller, deputy police commissioner for intelligence, said Saipov left behind notes at the scene, handwritten in Arabic with symbols and words, that essentially said the Islamic State group, or ISIS, “would endure forever.”

“It appears that Mr. Saipov had been planning this for a number of weeks. He did this in the name of ISIS,” Miller said, citing the notes.

In the past few years, the Islamic State has been exhorting followers online 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.

“He appears to have followed, almost exactly to a T, the instructions that ISIS has put out in its social media channels before with instructions to its followers on how to carry out such an attack,” Miller said.

Miller said Saipov had never been the subject of a New York police investigation but appears to have some links to people who have been investigated.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Saipov a “depraved coward.”

“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.

On the morning after the bloodshed, city leaders vowed New York would be not intimidated, and they commended New Yorkers for going ahead with Halloween festivities on Wednesday night.

They also said Sunday’s New York City Marathon, with 50,000 participants and some 2 million spectators anticipated, will go on as scheduled.

“We will not be cowed. We will not be thrown off by anything,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

While the mayor said there have been no credible threats of any additional attacks, police announced the deployment of heavy-weapon teams and other stepped-up security along the marathon route, in the subways and other sites, and New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill urged people to be vigilant and tell police if they see “something that doesn’t look right.”

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.

De Blasio called it “a cowardly act of terror.”

The dead consisted of five people from Argentina, one from Germany, and two Americans, authorities said. Nine people remained hospitalized in serious or critical condition, with injuries that included lost limbs and head, chest and neck wounds.

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.

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.” Trump 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.”

New Yorkers woke to a heavy police presence Wednesday outside the World Trade Center and at other locations around the city.

Runners and cyclists who use the popular bike path for their pre-dawn exercise were diverted away from the crime scene by officers stationed at barricades just north of where the rampage began.

Dave Hartie, 57, who works in finance, said he rides his bike along the path every morning.

“It’s great to be in the city and have that kind of peace,” he said. As for the attack, he said, “It’s the messed-up world we live in these days. Part of me is surprised it doesn’t happen more often.”

The slight, bearded Saipov is from heavily Muslim Uzbekistan and came to the U.S. legally in 2010, police said. He has a Florida driver’s license but was apparently living in New Jersey, they said.

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 ISIS, but he could tell he held radical views.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Isaiah Therrien skates down the ice with the Port Hardy Bantam Hawks. (Nicki Ranger photo)
Port Hardy Minor Hockey aims to grow amidst COVID-19 pandemic

‘As a parent, I’m just excited my son’s getting a chance to play’

BC Ferries’ Northern Expedition holding in Port Hardy while technicians repair the S-radar. The sailing was delayed by two days, leaving passengers stranded. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Northern Expedition rescheduled to sail for Bella Bella, Prince Rupert after mechanical issues

The S-radar malfunctioned twice, causing a two-day delay in Port Hardy

RCMP officer Chris Voller was honoured at a gathering hosted by Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw members. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Officer Chris Voller says farewell to the North Island

“One of the biggest impacts you can have is having a pre-existing relationship with an individual.”

Salla Sukow sings the women warrior song at a recent Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw gathering. Ceremony will be part of the Indigenous Court process. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Indigenous Court to offer alternative sentencing options

Final approval from the Judicial Council is expected in January

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are looking for information about William Mack, last seen in Duncan on Oct. 28. (File photo)
Police searching for missing man last seen near Duncan

William Mack, 72, was seen on Gibbins Road on Oct. 28

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Most Read