Authorities state that an Uzbek immigrant allegedly executed the New York City terrorist attack on Tuesday all by himself by driving a rental truck down a riverfront bike path resulting in the death of eight people. The suspect was shot and arrested within minutes of the rampage in Lower Manhattan. However, he left a note claiming that the attack was executed in the name of the militant Islamic State group. The assault looked similar to recent attacks in Spain, France and Germany but with lower death rates. But it was the bloodiest attack in New York City after September 11, 2001, the bombing of the World Trade Center with death toll of over 2,600 people.
After mowing down the people on the busy road, the suspect slammed his truck into the side of a school bus. He then left the vehicle waving his paint-ball gun and a pellet gun but was shot in the abdomen by a police officer. The entire incident lasted just seconds. The suspect was hospitalized and underwent surgery. About 11 people were also hospitalized for injuries. Despite not identifying the suspect publicly, he was anonymously named as Sayfullo Saipov, 29 and a resident of Paterson, New Jersey, a one-time industrial hub about 25 miles northwest of lower Manhattan. The pickup was rented from a Home Depot store located in Passaic, just south of Paterson. Of the eight six died at the scene and two in the hospital. Five of them were Argentine tourists visiting New York to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation. A Belgian citizen was also killed.
Defying the attack, thousands participated in the Tuesday night main Halloween parade in colorful costumes with a heightened police presence just a few blocks away. Mayor Bill de Blasio also assured of a high police security for the city's marathon, scheduled for Sunday.
A US law enforcement official stated the suspect is an immigrant from Uzbekistan who entered the US in 2010. Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev assured of turning every stone to help investigate the 'extremely brutal' attack. Late Tuesday, authorities surrounded the alleged house of the suspect in Paterson which houses the largest immigration population including 25,000 to 30,000 Muslims. According to ABC News, Saipov lived in Tampa, FL. According to CNN and other media outlets, he shouted 'Allahu Akbar' - Arabic for 'God is greatest' while jumping out of the truck. While everyone from the mayor to Security departments called it an act of terrorism, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo felt it was an individual act.
The New York Times said investigators quickly recognized that Saipov had faced law enforcement in the past. It cited three officials as saying federal authorities knew of Saipov from an unrelated probe, although it was unclear whether that was because he had ties to someone who was under scrutiny or because he was the target of an investigation. US Representative Adam Schiff stated of no other suspects yet but stressed on making its investigation, a priority. He called it too early to state if he was radicalized before immigrating to the US or he did this on his own at the behest of an organized group.
US President Donald Trump strongly favors banning travelers from predominantly Muslim countries. In his Twitter message, he stated of ordering Homeland Security officials to 'step up our already Extreme Vetting Program' as being politically correct was fine, but not this. He also criticized the Democrats and the US visa system and called for a 'merit based' program for immigrants to the United States.