The FBI and New York Police Department have confirmed 29-year-old Uzbek national Sayfullo Saipov is the main suspect in the Manhattan truck attack.
The two bodies are jointly leading the investigation. They said Saipov rented the vehicle on the day of the incident, but had been putting plans into place for weeks.
“Recovered in and around the vehicle were multiple knives, the two imitation pistols – one a paintball gun, the other a Crosman pellet gun. […] He did this in the name of ISIS and along with the other items recovered at the scene was some notes that further indicate that. […] He appears to have followed, almost exactly to a ‘t’, the instructions that ISIS has put out”, said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism, John Miller.
Five Argentine nationals, two Americans and a Belgian were killed after the suspect drove at speed down a cycle lane in Lower Manhattan. Six among them died at the scene, while two further victims were pronounced dead at hospital. Saipov was among 12 hospitalised with non-life-threatening injuries. Officials confirmed he’d been interviewed and was, therefore, conscious, but refused to give details of possible charges that may be brought.
He entered the US in 2010 via the Diversity Visa Lottery programme. Following the attack President Donald Trump denounced the scheme, which drew objections from New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo.
“The president’s tweets, I think, were not helpful. I don’t think they were factual. I think they tended to point fingers and politicise the situation,” Cuomo said in a press conference some 20 hours after the incident (November 1).
Security has been heightened across the city as 50,000 people prepare to run through the streets in Sunday’s marathon (November 5). It is going ahead as planned and the message from officials is clear: New York will not live in fear.