On Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. Sayfullo Saipov drove a truck, rented from Home Depot, into a bike path near the Hudson River, killing eight and injuring 11. Saipov hit multiple pedestrians and bikers before crashing into a school bus. The motives for the attack were clearly identified just moments after Saipov got out of the bus when he said “Allahu akbar,” a saying that praises Allah, the Islamic God. The perpetrator was then shot in the abdomen area by police, and was placed in critical condition. Later that day, notes were found near Saipov’s truck, pledging his allegiance to the Islamic state. This attack has been named the deadliest New York terrorist attack since Sept. 11, 2001.
Saipov, 29, moved to the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010. Officials found that he had lived in Patterson, N.J. with his wife and children and worked as an Uber driver, passing the company’s background check. He was said to have caught the attention of federal authorities in the past, during prior investigations, when five men from Uzbekistan were indicted for communicating with ISIS. However, according to the New York Times, spokesmen for the New York branch of the F.B.I. refrained from commenting about knowledge of Saipov.
The NYPD and the FBI are continuing the investigation by looking into his family, friends, cellphone records, and online activity as means to identify possible accomplices or plans for future attacks. So far, they have concluded that he has had communication with other men who the FBI have previously looked into.
According to the Washington Post, while in the hospital, Saipov told investigators that he had been planning the attack for a year and decided in late August to use a truck as his weapon. He later expressed, showing no remorse, that he felt pride in what he had done and wanted the flag of the Islamic State displayed in his room.
President Donald Trump shared a tweet on Tuesday night stating that there will be a more intensive Vetting program in order to prevent terrorists and other threats to American security from getting into the country. He also shared that he feels that Saipov is an “animal” and should suffer the death penalty.
Police are continuing the investigation in order to develop a deeper understanding of ISIS and discover potential leads to other perpetrators.