29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov identified as suspect in deadly New York truck attack, reportedly left note pledging ISIS loyalty

Emergency personal respond after a man driving a rental truck struck and killed eight people on a jogging and bike path in Lower Manhattan on October 31, 2017 in New York City. Photo: Kena Betancur/ Getty Images.
  • 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov of Tampa, Florida, has been identified as the suspect in the deadly terror attack in Manhattan, New York on Tuesday.
  • The attack left at least eight people dead and injured more than a dozen.
  • Saipov is reportedly an Uzbek national who came to the US in 2010. He reportedly left a note claiming he carried out the attack in the name of ISIS.

Police have identified the suspect in the deadly terror attack in lower Manhattan that left at least eight people dead as 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov of Tampa, Florida, multiple news outlets reported Tuesday.

Saipov, an Uzbek national, was reported to have legally resided in the US starting in 2010 and worked as a commercial truck driver, according to NBC News. Preliminary reports suggested Saipov does not have an extensive criminal record, but he was reportedly stopped by police on multiple occasions in the past for traffic violations.

In addition to being a legal permanent resident in Tampa, Saipov reportedly lived in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Paterson, New Jersey, according to a law enforcement official in an ABC News report. The official said that Saipov lived in New Jersey with his wife and three children, ABC News reported.

Multiple reports, citing state records, also indicate Saipov had registered two automotive-related businesses in Ohio between 2011 and 2013, one of them being a trucking company that has one truck and one driver.

Saipov was an active driver for Uber, making over 1,400 trips in six months, according to a company statement to ABC News. Uber also said it was assisting law enforcement with its investigation and confirmed Saipov had passed a background check with the company.

Police and government officials have not yet publicly identified the suspect. But local and federal officials said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon that the suspect deliberately mowed down cyclists and pedestrians in a rented Home Depot pickup truck, killing eight and injuring 12. Police said the suspect drove 10 blocks in the wrong direction before striking a school bus.

CNN reported, according to a person familiar with the ongoing investigation, Saipov rented the truck in New Jersey on Tuesday.

Video appears to show suspect in NYC truck attack running outside of his vehicle and then being taken into custody https://t.co/IML42gnQN1 pic.twitter.com/dX8F6RcY9T
— CNN (@CNN) October 31, 2017

He then exited the vehicle, brandished a paintball gun and pellet gun, and was subsequently shot in the abdomen by a police officer, according to New York Police Department commissioner James O’Neill.

“This is a tragedy of the greatest magnitude,” O’Neill said.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference, “aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them.”

Multiple news agencies reported that Saipov shouted “Allahu Akbar,” which translates to “God is great” in Arabic, as he exited the rented truck.

“Yeah, he did make a statement when he exited the vehicle. And if you just look at the M-O of the attack — that’s consistent with what’s been going on. So, that, along with the statement that’s enabled us to label this a terrorist event,” O’Neill said.

News agencies also reported that Saipov left a note inside his truck pledging loyalty to the Islamic State. ISIS propaganda materials have called for similarly styled attacks, using a vehicle as a weapon and leaving notes that proclaim loyalty to the terrorist organisation.

New York Times correspondent Rukmini Callimachi noted that ISIS had put out posters calling for attacks on Halloween. However, the terrorist organisation has yet to officially claim responsibility for the attack, Callimachi reported.

Following news of the incident, President Donald Trump called the suspect a “very sick and deranged person” and appeared to suggest attribution to the Islamic State.

“We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere,” Trump tweeted. “Enough!

Saipov was out of surgery from an undisclosed hospital, sources said to CNN late Tuesday.

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