NEW YORK — The suspect in the truck attack in New York had been planning it for “a number of weeks” and followed instructions ISIS has put out to its followers on how to carry out such attacks, deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism John Miller said Wednesday at a news conference.
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov “did this in the name of ISIS,” Miller said.
He said a handwritten note in Arabic found near the scene had both symbols and words, but the gist was that the Islamic State would endure forever.
A 29-year-old man plowed into bicyclists and pedestrians just blocks away from the World Trade Center on Tuesday afternoon.
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.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Saipov is a Uzbekistan native who came to the U.S. legally in 2010.
He allegedly drove a rented pickup truck onto a busy bike path, crashed the truck into a school bus, then stepped outside of the vehicle brandishing imitation firearms.
A police officer shot Saipov in the abdomen, but he survived and underwent surgery Tuesday evening.
Saipov was “radicalized domestically” in the U.S., 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.
“We have no evidence yet of associations or a continuing plot or associated plots, and our only evidence to date is that this was an isolated incident that he himself performed.”
Saipov has been linked to social media accounts that contain ISIS-related material, a law enforcement official said Wednesday morning.
The official also said Saipov has been somewhat cooperative with FBI and New York police investigators who questioned him in the hospital overnight.