The man accused of viciously plowing a rented truck onto a crowded New York bike path, then ramming the truck into a school bus shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he leapt from the vehicle. An ISIS flag image and a note written in Arabic pledging his loyalty to ISIS were found in the truck.
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, an immigrant from Uzbekistan waved what appeared to be a B.B. pistol in the air as he leapt from the truck, and was shot several times by a responding police officer. The suspect remains hospitalized; reportedly ‘gleeful’ about the eight lives he ended. There were also 11 people wounded, four of whom were teachers and students in the school bus.
The murderous rampage began at around 3 p.m. Halloween afternoon, on the lower West Side of Manhattan near the Hudson River, roughly one hour after the suspect rented the truck from a Home Depot in Passaic. A white Toyota Sienna with Florida plates was cordoned off by police in that Home Depot parking lot Tuesday night and is believed to belong to Saipov.
The new World Trade Center spire was lit red, white and blue Tuesday night in honor of those killed in the terror attack.
The dead include five men from Argentina, who were in the country as part of a group celebrating their 30th class reunion. Hernan Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi had rented bicycles and were walking their bikes along the path when the suspect plowed into them. Ann-Laure Decadt from Belgium was also deprived of her life. She was the mother of a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old. Americans Nicholas Francis Cleves and Darren Drake also were killed. Four of the injured were aboard the school bus, one of whom remains in critical condition.
Saipov reportedly resides in Paterson N.J. with his wife and two children, and lists his occupation as professional truck driver. His wife lists no occupation. Saipov has been in the United State since 2010; he and his wife Odliova were married in Ohio in 2013. Paterson New Jersey is the same city in which several 9/11 conspirators resided.
The suspected terrorist emigrated from Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, as did his wife. Approximately 80 % of Uzbeks are Muslim according to the AP. Uzbekistan is reportedly a popular recruiting location for ISIS.
According to Fox News, the suspect is not an American citizen, but has a green card and has been working as an Uber driver. The ride sharing service stated Tuesday evening that Saipov had passed background checks and had driven over 1,400 ride-sharing trips in the past half year.
The suspect’s driver’s license is connected to a residence in the Tampa, Florida area. Saipov has been living in New Jersey at least since earlier this year. Reuters reported that Saipov has a history of traffic violations and confirms his Florida license.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio labeled the attack “an act of terror and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.” Governor Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack, adding that there was no evidence so far that there had been a wider plot.
The White House released the following statement:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today’s terrorist attack in New York City and their families.
“My Administration will provide its full support to the New York City Police Department, including through a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We offer our thanks to the first responders who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack. These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage. I will continue to follow developments closely.”
In response to the horrific incident, the president would like to discontinue the diversity lottery, an immigration visa program that allows ‘chain migration’. The president further stated that Saipov used this method to remain in the United States, and may have brought a ‘chain’ of up to 23 ‘relatives’ in as well. President Trump and many other lawmakers would prefer to see a merit-based immigration system, which is felt by many to offer a more fair opportunity to those who want to become Americans, rather than simply take advantage of the country’s generous government assistance programs.
~ Conservative Zone