At least eight people were killed on Tuesday in New York after a man mowed down civilians using a rented pick-up truck. While New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was “a cowardly act of terror”, Governor Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.
Officials said the 29-year-old suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, is from Uzbekistan and he came to the US legally in 2010. Cab aggregator Uber also confirmed that Saipov was one of its drivers. The ride-hailing service said in a statement that the suspect had passed a background check to become an Uber driver and had been actively driving on the platform for more than six months. Saipov has since been banned from the Uber app.
Authorities had said that Saipov has a Florida driver’s license and may have been staying in New Jersey. A family friend also described he used to live in Ohio a few years ago and was a commercial truck driver.
According to reports, Saipov drove onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial in Lower Manhattan area in New York City, killing eight and injuring 11 others. He was shot by police in the abdomen and arrested after he crashed the truck into a school bus and fled his vehicle, authorities said. Some eyewitnesses claimed that Saipov yelled Allahu Akbar “Allahu Akbar” – Arabic for “God is greatest” – when he jumped out of his truck.
Quoting law enforcement sources, CNN and The New York Times reported that investigators found a note left by the suspect claiming he carried out the attack in the name of the Islamic State militant group.