The suspected terrorist who killed eight people in Manhattan on Monday had been planning the attack for weeks, according to officials who spoke to the Washington Post.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was taken alive by police after he rammed a Home Depot rental truck into a group of pedestrians in a bike path near West Side Highway Monday afternoon. After mowing down cyclists and pedestrians, Saipov reportedly exited the truck, brandishing what appeared to be guns but in fact were not authentic firearms.
Police at the scene shot him in the abdomen, and he was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
At a news briefing on Wednesday, John Miller, the deputy New York police commissioner for intelligence and counter-terrorism, said that Saipov had left a handwritten note in the rental truck which, roughly translated from Arabic, said “the Islamic State would endure forever.”
Saipov reportedly closely followed instructions that ISIS makes available online for carrying out terror attacks.
He did this in the name of ISIS,” Miller said at the news conference, according to the Washington Post.
“He appears to have followed almost exactly to a T the instructions that ISIS has put out in its social media channels before with instructions to their followers on how to carry out such an attack.”
ISIS has not yet claimed responsibility for the attack, and investigators have not yet discovered a direct link between the suspect and the terrorist group.
Appearing on CNN’s New Day on Wednesday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saipov had begun to educate himself on ISIS ideologies and tactics after moving to the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010.
“The evidence shows . . . 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 continuing plot or associated plots, and our only evidence to date is that this was an isolated incident that he himself performed.”
The continuing investigation includes interviews with the suspect and an examination of Saipev’s possible links to additional terrorists and terror suspects.
[Feature photo: Police handout]