ISIS Flags Found in Truck Along with Handwritten Notes Pledging Allegiance – 8 dead
The man – Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, who ran down pedestrians and cyclists in Manhattan pledged his allegiance to ISIS before his attack, it has emerged. At 3.05pm he entered a bicycle path at Houston Street and drove downtown. Along the way he knocked down victims before smashing into a school bus at Chambers Street. Running into the school bus shouting ‘Allah Akbar’.
He waved fake guns, a paintball gun and a pellet gun, and was then shot in the stomach by a police officer. He is now out of surgery and police are waiting to question him. According to the New York Post images of ISIS flags were found in his truck, as well as handwritten notes pledging his allegiance to the terrorist group.
Eyewitness to NYC truck attack says alleged suspect “sprinted toward the group of kids” after crashing onto bike path and hitting school bus pic.twitter.com/Sbqt4h7OYS
— ABC News (@ABC) 31 October 2017
The devastating terror attack has left 8 dead and up to 15 injured, including one child in critical condition.
Saipov it has emerged was a Uzbeki native who had lived in the US for seven years, ran two trucking companies and was a ‘friendly’ Uber driver, sources claim. He was found with a Florida ID when arrested, but he had lived most recently in New Jersey, and ran two trucking companies located in Ohio. He was also said to be a friendly Uber driver who was good with kids – and did not like people taking his photo.
Suspects New Jersey Home
He emigrated from Uzbekistan to the US in 2010. He was living in Patterson, New Jersey. Investigators are now combing a Home Depot in Passaic, New Jersey, where he is believed to have picked up the truck and may have left his own vehicle.
Kobiljon Matkarov, 37, of Maimisburg, Ohio, said that he met Saipov five years ago, and they bonded over their shared Uzbeki heritage.
Path of Destruction and Death
‘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.
He said Saipov had been working as an Uber driver in New Jersey this summer, and that the alleged terrorist had driven him, his wife and their five children to New York’s JFK airport during a recent trip to their home country.
Saipov was very friendly, he said, and good with children: ‘My kids like him too, he is always playing with them. He is playing all the time,’ he said – but added that when one of the children asked to take a photo with him, Saipov refused. ‘He no like that. He said no,’ Matkarov said.
Matkarov said he was shocked by the claim that his friend had murdered and injured two dozen people, and that he didn’t know of any terrorist connections he may have had.
Public records show Saipov worked as a commercial truck driver and has previously lived in Ohio. He also has two businesses registered to Ohio: Sayf Motors Inc. was registered in Hamilton County from May 2011, and is located in an apartment in Cincinnati; and Bright Auto LLC was registered in Cuyahoga Falls from August 2013 and is located in another apartment.
Bright Auto LLC is an active carrier registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Records show that the trucking company has one truck and one driver. The company is cooperating with the police and could not confirm if the suspect had rented the vehicle.
Saipov also has a minor criminal record for traffic offences in Missouri and Pennsylvania.
He provided an address in St Charles County, Missouri, for the 2016 Missouri traffic violation, which shows the location is registered address for STL Logistics LLC. That company had a Freight-liner tractor and semi-trailer registered, records show.
Court records show that he was stopped in Mount Holly Springs Borough, Pennsylvania, on March 2015. Saipov provided an address in St Charles County, Missouri for that traffic violation, which shows the location is registered address for STL Logistics LLC.
Saipov, who provided authorities with an address in Patterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to a single charge of maximum length of a single trailer and paid fees associated with the citation.
Uzbekistan is not on Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban list
Video footage suggested that injured people were being treated around every 10 feet along the bike lane struck by the truck.
During the Tuesday night press conference, Mayor De Blasio said the act was ‘intended to break’ the spirit of New Yorkers.
‘We know this action was intended to break out spirit. But we also know New Yorkers are strong, resilient and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence or an act meant to intimidate us.’
The annual Halloween Parade will go on as planned despite the atrocity. There will be an increased police presence there tonight in addition to bolstered police patrols across the city in the coming days and week.
‘Based on the information we have, this was an act of terror and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, people going about their lives,’ he said.
De Blasio was joined by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who prayed for those killed.
‘It reminds us all how precious life is. They left the house the morning, they were enjoying the beautiful west side of Manhattan on a beautiful fall day and now they will not be returning home.
‘That shock and that pain is going to be very real,’ he said.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill confirmed the driver’s movements. But he would not reveal his identity or nationality, saying it was too early in the investigation to share such details.
President Trump acknowledged the attack on Twitter, describing the perpetrator as a ‘sick’ individual.
‘In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!’ he said.
First Lady Melania Trump, who was in Manhattan when the attack occurred, said: ‘My heart breaks for NYC today.
‘Thoughts & prayers as we monitor the situation.’
A Rabi that works at a nearby school was rushing his students away as the FBI and police shouted at people to stay back. Rabi Chaim Zacklos said the suspect started hitting cyclists on Chambers on the cross section with the West Side bike path. He then got out of the car and was shot by police at the intersection with Warren and the bike path.
There is added security in Manhattan, but despite this city officials said there was no evidence that Tuesday’s attack was part of a wider terror plot. Witnesses have described hearing five to ten gun shots, all of which came from police guns. Others ran for their lives as they watched the truck ram through pedestrians after veering off the road. Shocking video footage from the scene showed cyclists lying on the ground with their bikes smashed in to pieces around them. By-passers were seen tending to them as they awaited medical attention.
Within minutes of the first reports, there was an enormous police and fire service presence at the site. At the time, school children were being let out of class after a day of Halloween festivities.