Terror strikes in the deadliest attack on New York City since 9/11

A man has crashed a rented truck into a busy bike path, injuring and killing 19 people. Six died at the scene, two died in the hospital, and eleven more are still trying to recover from what police are calling the “deadliest attack on NYC since 9/11”. The man has been identified by two different law enforcement agencies as 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. Police report that Saipov drove a rented truck into pedestrians just blocks away from the World Trade Center on Tuesday.  

A police officer shot Saipov in the abdomen, but the Uzbekistan native survived and sought treatment Tuesday night, sources say. Officers were able to talk to the suspect before surgery. 

When questioned, the suspect claimed that he had planned this attack for around a year. Two months ago, the Uzbekistan native decided that he would use a truck “to inflict maximum damage against citizens” investigators state. On Tuesday, October 31st  Saipov went into a Passaic, New Jersey Home Depot. He rented a truck for two hours, but had “no intention” of ever returning the vehicle.  

His plan was to use the truck to hit pedestrians in the location of the actual attack and then drive up the Brooklyn Bridge to continue his attack, Saipov said.  

During his interview with law enforcement, Saipov asked to hang an ISIS flag in his hospital room. Officials say that “he felt good about what he had done”. 

Although authorities did not find any flags in or around the vehicle, they did find a note written in Arabic which police have stated says “the Islamic State will endure forever”. ISIS has not claimed responsibility, although Saipov had many videos and other forms of propaganda. The items included videos of killings of prisoners, decapitations, and social media accounts that include ISIS-related material.  

Saipov moved to the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010, a law enforcement source states.  The suspect most recently lived in New Jersey, where he worked an Uber driver for just over six months. Uber has stated that they will work with authorities in the investigation.  

In an open letter published on Wednesday, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan said that his country will use any “means necessary” to help the United States with the investigation.  

The bike lane where the horrific attack took place has reopened since Tuesday, a CNN affiliate has reported.  New York has started to build and set up concrete barriers along this path to stop similar terrorist attacks to reoccur. This reconstruction started on Thursday, according to the New York Department of Transportation. The Department’s plan is to place a total of 57 barriers along the sides of the path, leaving enough room for bikers and runners alike.  

Some people, however, think that these paths could become dangerous. “There’s no way two bikes can pass each other there and the runners as well,” New York City resident James Petty told WABC. “There’s going to be accidents.”  

The idea of barriers is not a new one. Back in May, concrete dividers were put up after a new drove a car into a busy sidewalk in Times Square, killing one person and injuring 22 more.