NEW YORK: All it took was a man and a truck to inflict the deadliest terror attack on New York City since 9/11.
A 29-year-old man plowed into bicyclists and pedestrians just blocks away from the World Trade Center Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. Mangled bicycles littered the street as medics rushed to the victims.
Six victims were killed instantly. Two others died later. And more than a dozen are trying to recover as the country grapples with yet another terror attack.
The suspect was identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a Uzbekistan native who came to the US legally in 2010, authorities said. Saipov allegedly drove a rented pickup truck onto a busy bike path, crashed the truck into a school bus and then stepped outside of the vehicle brandishing imitation firearms.
A police officer shot Saipov in the abdomen, stopping the threat. He survived and underwent surgery Tuesday evening.
The suspect had been planning the attack for a number of weeks and “did this in the name of ISIS,” according to John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism.
Miller added that a handwritten note in Arabic found near the scene had both symbols and words, but the general message of it was that the Islamic State would endure forever.
Saipov was “radicalized domestically” in the US, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday morning.
“The evidence shows – and again, it’s only several hours, and the investigation is ongoing – but that after he came to the United States is when he started to become informed about ISIS and radical Islamic tactics,” Cuomo said.
Multiple knives were recovered in and around the suspect’s rented truck after he was shot by police, Miller said.
Gov. Cuomo admonished President Donald Trump for tweeting criticisms in the wake of the attack. “The President’s tweets were not helpful. I don’t think they were factual. I think they tend to point fingers and politicize the situation,” he said.
The NYPD officer who shot the suspect was a 28-year-old with five years experience on the job, New York officials said.