THE Uzbek terrorist who massacred eight people in a pickup truck in New York yesterday had written letters pledging his allegiance to ISIS.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was reported to have left behind the notes and a picture of an ISIS flag after he mowed down cyclists before being shot by cops while brandishing fake guns.
Twitter This is the moment police pinned the suspect, named as Sayfullo Saipov, down after he drove the equivalent of 14 blocks, mowing down people using a cycle lane
The “lone wolf”, who is thought to have moved from Uzbekistan to Tampa, Florida, in 2010, drove at people for almost a mile before jumping out of the vehicle brandishing a fake gun in each hand and allegedly screaming “Allahu Akbar”.
Officials discovered the items inside his truck following the rampage, the New York Post reported.
A Belgian national and at least one Argentine citizen are among the eight people killed, while at least 11 more were injured in the deadliest terror attack in New York since 9/11.
Witnesses have described seeing people screaming in panic as horrifying images showed bodies and bikes strewn across the ground.
Twitter Saipov, pictured in the street moments before being shot in the stomach by cops Sayfullo Saipov, 29, has been named as the suspect who mowed down and killed cyclists on a New York bike path AP:Associated Press The mangled rented Home Depot truck ploughed into cyclists on a bike path in New York City on Halloween AP:Associated Press A body covered by a sheet lies on the bike path among the mangled wreckage of bikes BBC The alleged suspect truck driver flees on foot before he was gunned down by cops AP:Associated Press The truck smashed into a school bus before it came to a stop and the attacker fled on foot Fox News Six people have been killed in lower Manhattan after a truck driver mowed down cyclists and pedestrians Reuters Bikes can be seen scattered across the road after the suspected terror attack AP:Associated Press A NYPD police officer stands over a body covered by a sheet at the horrific scene on Tuesday
Police say Saipov drove the rented Home Depot truck down a popular cycle lane on the busy West Side Highway, just a few blocks from the new World Trade Center, at just after 3pm local time.
The vehicle crushed cyclists and pedestrians before slamming into a school bus, injuring two adults and two children on board – one of the kids is understood to be in a critical condition.
Six people were killed at the scene while two more died when they got to a nearby hospital.
Belgium’s Foreign Minister Didier Reynders confirmed a Belgian national had been killed in the atrocity, but didn’t give any further details on the victim.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “I am deeply saddened to announce a Belgian victim in Manhattan – I express my condolences to the family and friends.
“My thoughts are with the victims of the attack in New York.”
Argentina’s foreign ministry said “Argentine citizens died” in attack, but did not say how many.
What we know so far:
- Eight people have been killed and 11 injured in a terror attack in New York City on Halloween
- A rented pickup truck careered down a busy cycle path for almost a mile at 3.05pm (7.05pm GMT) close to the World Trade Centre in Manhattan before smashing into a school bus
- The driver fled the vehicle brandishing a paintball gun and a pellet gun in each hand, while witnesses claim he shouted “Allahu Akbar” before he was shot in the stomach by police
- The suspect was named by law enforcement officials as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, who is understood to have moved to Tampa, Florida, from Uzbekistan in 2010
- Officers say the suspect was injured but it is expected to survive as they confirmed it was a terror attack
- A Belgian national and at least one Argentine citizen are among the eight people killed in the deadliest terror attack in New York since 9/11
- Two adults and two children on the school bus, while one of the kids is believed to be in a critical condition
- President Donald Trump tweeted that the New York terror attack was carried out by a “very sick and deranged person” and added that “we must not allow ISIS to return, or enter our country”
A statement said the Argentine Consulate in New York is working with local officials to identify the victims of the attack, and that the Argentine government “is deeply shocked” by what happened.
It said: “Argentina reaffirms its strongest condemnation of terrorist acts and violence in all its manifestations and reiterates the need to deepen the fight against this scourge.”
The suspect then got out of his vehicle waving a paintball gun and a pellet gun in each hand and yelled “Allahu Akbar” which means “God is great” in Arabic, according to the NY Times.
He was then shot in the stomach and taken into police custody.
A police bomb squad scoured the truck but found no explosives.
Officials say the suspect, who has a Florida licence but may have been living in New Jersey, was taken for surgery and is expected to survive.
Reuters The damage caused to the side of the school bus when the suspect down a bike path and smashed into it Reuters Firefighters and police investigate the damage caused to the bus, which was carrying two adults and two children who suffered injuries AP:Associated Press Forensic officers are carrying out a joint investigation of the scene with the NYPD and FBI AP:Associated Press An injured man is taken away by paramedics on a stretcher after being caught up in the crash Reuters Paramedics tend to a woman at the side of the street after people were mowed down by a truck in New York The rented pickup truck ploughed into cyclists in Lower Manhattan, close to a school Lower Manhattan terror attack timeline of events described by New York Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill
According to the New York Post, a friend of Saipov described him as “very good guy”, who had been working for Uber.
Kobiljon Matkarov, a fellow Uzbek, also told the US paper that the suspect had been living in New Jersey as recently as this summer.
Online records reportedly show that Saipov has a minor criminal record in Pennsylvania and Missouri, for traffic offences.
He had allegedly previously worked as a commercial truck driver and had lived in Ohio.
No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the rampage.
President Donald Trump has described the suspect as a “very sick and deranged person” as he condemned the tragedy.
Footage shows people attending to a cyclist lying on the side of a road Reuters Emergency crews attend the scene on West Street in Manhattan, New York Multiple people gunned down in lower Manhattan, New York say police
Writing on Twitter, he said: “In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”
He later added: “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!
“My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!”
The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, described the attack as “a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians going about their daily lives”.
Video shows crashed truck in lower Manhattan, New York following deadly shooting AP:Associated Press Cops stand over the body of a victim of the incident AP:Associated Press Cops have given few details on the incident Broken bicycles lie on the ground after truck ploughed down cycle lane in lower Manhattan, New York
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said it was a “lone wolf” attack, and there was no evidence it was part of a wider plot.
Barack Obama said on Twitter: “Michelle and I are thinking of the victims of today’s attack in NYC and everyone who keeps us safe. New Yorkers are as tough as they come.”
Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: “Appalled by this cowardly attack, my thoughts are with all affected. Together we will defeat the evil of terrorism. UK stands with #NYC.”
London’s mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to the victims, saying: “London stands in grief and solidarity with the great city of New York tonight after the despicable and cowardly terrorist attack in Manhattan.
“My heart goes out to the victims and their families.
Injured people lie on the ground following shooting in Manhattan, New York AP:Associated Press Forensic officer remained at the scene carrying out their investigation into the atrocity AP:Associated Press As dusk fell over the city, dozens of emergency vehicles remained at the scene AP:Associated Press Emergency personnel carry a man into an ambulance after the atrocity Rex Features Senior detectives analyse the scene as bikes can be seen strewn across the road AP:Associated Press The devastating atrocity happened just metres from the banks of the Hudson river
“New Yorkers are strong and resilient – I know they will not be cowed by this assault on the innocent, and on our shared values and way of life.”
The Foreign Office said it is standing by to provide assistance to any Britons affected by the atrocity.
A spokesman said: “We are in contact with the local authorities and stand ready to provide any assistance but are not aware of any British citizens involved as yet.”
Witnesses have described the horrific scenes and how they believed the incident was a “Halloween prank”.
Manhattan restaurant chef Eugene Duffy was crossing a street when he heard something, turned back and saw the pickup truck on the bike path.
He says he saw the bodies of two men on the ground, their bikes mangled.
He says he ran south and saw a yellow half-size school bus that appeared to have been T-boned and firefighters trying to get children out.
Chen Yi, an Uber driver, said: “I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground.”
New York terror attacker who drove truck down cycle path in lower Manhattan has been named as Sayfullo Saipov Getty Images – Getty Police remained at the cordon Halloween night as the city was urged to continue as normal
One person said: “Jesus! A car just ran over 2 people and then crashed into a school bus. I see two dead bodies and citibikes on the floor destroyed.”
“What happened was there was a car crash… he came out of one of the cars. He had two guns,” a 14-year-old student said.
“We thought it was a Halloween thing. He started running around the highway. There was another guy in a green shirt that was chasing him around.”
Eyewitness Tsewana Bhuli said: “I saw a little boy aged about 12 on a stretcher. I saw an elderly person on a stretcher, too.
“I don’t know what happened, but the police are saying we are still not safe and pushing us back.”
Rafael Avramovitz said he got a panicked call from his 12-year-old daughter, Leah, at a nearby school.
He said: “I rushed down here. You can’t be too careful nowadays.
“She was scared. She said they’d put the school on lockdown.
“Now I can’t get close to pick her up.”
Man near New York attack describes screams from terror attack he heard in lower Manhattan
Yelitza Colori, 19, said: ‘I was on my way to class. I heard five gun shots.
‘They just went boom.
‘Then everybody started running.
‘I didn’t see anyone injured but people were running.
‘I didn’t see a suspect but I saw all the police arrive.’
The city’s annual Halloween parade, which attracts tens of thousands of people,went ahead at 7pm (11pm GMT) about a mile from the scene of the atrocity.
Police added extra officers, heavy weapons teams and sand trucks as protective blockers along the parade route.
But officials are emphasising that New Yorkers should feel safe.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio told residents to go about their business and not be deterred.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited the route as the parade began and increased security at airports, bridges and tunnels, with additional security personnel deployed to high-density public areas.
The lights on the spire of One World Trade Centre turned red, white and blue in “honour of freedom and democracy”, the governor said.
News Group Newspapers Police at the scene of the terror attack in lower Manhattan News Group Newspapers Emergency services raced to the scene in New York City this afternoon AP:Associated Press An aerial view of the horrific scene of the terror attack in New York Snapchat user claims New York police ‘shot down’ a suspect after lower Manhattan incident
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