Suspect identified in NYC terror attack that left 8 dead, pled allegiance to ISIS

Update 10:10 pm: The New York Post is reporting that victims of today’s attack included American students and adults who were on the school bus that was rammed, along with 5 Argentinians and one Belgian.

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that several “Argentine citizens” were among the dead, though it’s unclear how many.

Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister for Belgium, wrote on Twitter that at least one the victims was Belgian.

“I am deeply saddened to announce a Belgian victim in Manhattan,” he tweeted. “I express my condolences to the family and friends.”

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina has confirmed that two staff members and two students were among those who were hurt. They had been on a school bus, which was struck by suspected terrorist Sayfullo Saipov.

One of the students is reportedly in critical condition.

According to Reynders, three other Belgians were “also wounded” during the incident and “in the operating room” undergoing surgery on Tuesday night. The extent of their injuries was not clear.

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Update 9:50 pm: In a tweet that was seemingly tailor made to infuriate CNN’s army of political analysts, President Trump announced that he has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to step up its “already Extreme Vetting Program” in light of today’s attack in New York City. adding that “being politically correct is fine, but not for this!”

Of course, it’s widely known by now that Trump’s tweets don’t constitute official White House statements, or even concrete policy changes…

Update 9:00 pm: One World Trade Center was lit up in red, white and blue following today’s attack…

Update 8:55 pm: The identitiy of that hero cop has been revealed by the New York Daily News: He is Officer Ryan Nash, 28, a Long Island resident who joined the NYPD in July 2012. Nash was responding to a call of a nonviolent, emotionally disturbed person outside Stuyvesant High School, located at Chambers and West Sts. However, the report would prove inaccurate; Saipov had used a rented Home Depot truck to mow down cyclists and pedestrians in a brutal attack on the West Side Highway. Ryan, pictured below, rushed to the scene, arriving after Saipov crashed his rented pickup truck into a school bus on Chambers St., near the high school.

Saipov was brandishing two handguns, which turned out to be a paintball gun and a pellet gun (other reports identified them as an airsoft gun and a bb gun). Nash opened fire, shooting Saipov in the stomach and sending him sprawling to the ground and stopping him from potentially murdering more innocent people.

The suspect, who was taken into custody soon after, killed at least eight people and injured 15 more in today’s afternoon attack on the West Side Highway in Manhattan’s tony Chelsea neighborhood, only minutes away from the World Trade Center memorial.

“I want commend the response of our NYPD officer that was on post near the location who stopped the carnage moments after it began,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill told reporters at a press conference Tuesday evening.

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Update 8:50pm: NBC reports that law enforcement officials say Saipov was spoken to in hospital, but refused to answer the initial round of questions.

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Update 8:20pm: As the public awaits more details from the NYPD, FDNY and FBI about today’s Halloween terror attack, NBC reports that allegiance notes to ISIS written in Arabic were found at the scene of today’s attack.

Authorities said the man, identified by sources as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, is thought to be a “lone actor” in the attack in the Hudson River Greenway on Tuesday afternoon. Authorities said he shouted “Allahu Akbar” at some point as he sped down the bike path and apparently deliberately rammed into a school bus for children with disabilities. The Uzbek national living in New Jersey got out of that truck afterward and was seen running through traffic on West Street with a BB gun and a paintball gun before being shot in the abdomen by police and taken into custody. He’s being treated at Bellevue Hospital, where he remains in custody.

Sources said Saipov lives in Paterson, New Jersey, but he had a Florida license with a Tampa address on him when he was arrested. Police and federal agents were seen swarming the neighborhood street where he was thought to live on Tuesday evening. Residents in the area said that Saipov had a wife and two young children.

Law enforcement officials say Saipov rented the killer truck at Home Depot in Passaic, NJ and drove to Manhattan for attack.

Kobiljon Matkarov, a Facebook friend of Saipov’s, told NBC News that the two met while they were both living in Florida. He said his friend was working as a truck and Uber driver. “He was very happy guy,” said Matkarov, who is also from Uzbekistan. “he liked the US. he is no terrorist. He’s all the time happy, smiling all the time.”

U.S. intelligence officials said they had no knowledge of any terror groups claiming responsibility for the violence. Gov. Cuomo said that Saipov is thought to have acted alone in the attack. Saipov also pleaded guilty to two traffic offenses in Pennsylvania between 2012 and 2015, according to records from the Keystone State. He was also arrested for at least one traffic incident in Missouri, though details of that arrest weren’t immediately available. But there was no other information on whether the man had any other criminal record.

NBC published its report about an hour after President Donald Trump tweeted that “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”

Meanwhile, the New York Post interviewed a friend of the suspect, Uzbek national Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, who described him as a “very friendly” Uber driver who had been living in New Jersey at least since the summer.

Also, a booking photo of Saipov taken when he failed to appear in a Missouri court for a traffic violation has emerged online, as have reports he has a girlfriend and three children living in Paterson, New Jersey.

Via Zero Hedge

Featured Image: (Photo Credit: Roman Lakoubtchik/Flickr)