Federal authorities reportedly knew of the NYC terror attack suspect, interviewed him in a previous counterterrorism investigation

Sayfullo Saipov@DaveDMarko/TwitterSayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, the NYC attack suspect.
  • Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, the man accused of carrying out the deadly truck attack in Manhattan on Tuesday, had been known to federal authorities.
  • FBI agents interviewed Saipov in 2015 as part of a separate, unrelated counterterrorism investigation.
  • It is believed that ISIS inspired Saipov to carry out the attack.

The man who rammed a truck into bicyclists and pedestrians in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, killing eight and injuring 11 more, had been known to federal authorities, according to The New York Times.

Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbek national living in Paterson, New Jersey, was interviewed in 2015 by federal agents as part of an unrelated counterterrorism case after he was identified as an associate of two men under investigation.

ABC News says, however, that Saipov was never the main focus of the investigation and law enforcement was never investigating him directly as a terror suspect.

In the last two years, federal prosecutors charged five men from Uzbekistan and one from Kazakhstan for supporting ISIS, according to the Times. It’s unclear, however, if that is the investigation with which Saipov was involved.

News agencies reported that Saipov left a note inside his truck pledging loyalty to ISIS. He also reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar,” which translates to “God is great” in Arabic, as he carried out the attack.

Saipov came to the US in 2010 on a diversity visa and has worked as a commercial truck and Uber driver.

An official told ABC News that Saipov seemed “proud” that he carried out the attack. He underwent surgery at an undisclosed hospital and is expected to survive.

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