It’s still fairly early since the relative peace and quiet of a New York City afternoon was disrupted by guy with a truck, but there are things we have learned since then. As noted yesterday, we have the killer’s name, and we know his motive.
We also know that he pledged loyalty to ISIS.
Saipov had handwritten notes pledging his loyalty to the Islamic State terror network and shouted “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) after the crash, law enforcement officials told Fox News.
Saipov, who was shot by police, was taken into custody and remained hospitalized.
The suspect had a green card, a source told Fox News. Saipov came to the U.S. in 2010, and, according to the Associated Press, has a Florida driver’s license but was said to be living in Paterson, N.J.
Saipov was an Uber driver who had passed a background check, the company told Fox News. It added that Saipov has now been banned from the app, and Uber has offered assistance to the FBI.
Saipov’s notes, written in Arabic and pledging loyalty to ISIS, turned up in and near the vehicle, Fox News was told. In addition, the New York Post reported that investigators found “an image of the ISIS flag inside his vehicle.”
Initial reports of shots being fired appear to be from the police response to the attacker, who was apparently carrying a pellet gun and a paintball gun.
We also have learned some about the people injured in the attack.
Four of the wounded were reportedly teachers and students on a school bus hit by Saipov. One of the dead and three of the injured appear to be Belgian nationals. An Argentinian newspaper reported that five of the eight killed were from that country, all visiting New York as part of a celebratory vacation.
This type of attack has been used a fair bit overseas and is incredibly difficult to combat, especially since it appears this is a “lone wolf” style attack, with little planning taking place outside of Saipov’s own mind. He performed an action that’s carried out millions of times by people with no harmful intent every year in renting a truck. There doesn’t appear, at least at this point, that there was much that law enforcement could do to prevent this attack.
To make matters more disturbing, unfortunately, is that we’re likely to see more of these kinds of attacks going forward. While this attack killed eight innocent people, others have been even more deadly. In particular, the 2016 Nice terrorist attack in France, where 86 people were killed at hundreds more were injured in a similar attack.
New York is, unfortunately, far too familiar with terrorism at this point, but they’re also a resilient city that has bounced back before and will likely do so again. That bounce back started last night with the city’s annual Halloween parade, which took place as planned.
The Halloweeen Parade will go on, with NYPD dramatically increasing presence (personnel, blocker trucks, long guns etc).
— eric phillips (@EricFPhillips) October 31, 2017
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned New Yorkers that there would be a heightened police presence in and around the city in the coming days, but to understand that there do not appear to be additional terrorist attacks in the works.
Unfortunately, with the nature of this kind of attack, it’s hard to believe they can know that for sure.