In the hours after the attack that left eight people dead and injured at least 11, officials had revealed suspect Sayfullo Saipov had shouted “Allahu akbar” as he exited the vehicle before being shot and stopped by police.
At a press conference at police headquarters on Wednesday, officials presented more details about the attack carried out by the 29-year-old, who is believed to have been radicalised in the US.
John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of the New York Police Department, said officers had recovered a letter from the truck rented from Home Depot, written in Arabic, and claiming that the “Islamic State will endure forever”
Mr Miller said it appeared that in renting a truck and mowing down pedestrians - similar to tactics used by mittens in France, Germany, Spain and Britain - the suspect had been following Isis’s instructions to supporters “to a T”.
Speaking on CNN earlier, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the suspect was “radicalised domestically”.
He said investigators were still investigating the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the attack. Mr Cuomo said the suspect was a “depraved coward”.
“All the evidence points to a “lone wolf mode”. There is an evolution of tactics for the jihads,” he said. “It’s no longer about training camps in the geographic area. They have a global platform in the internet. And their template is very simple - rent a car, rent a truck, and cause mayhem.”
He added: “He was a depraved coward. He was associated with Isis and radicalised domestically.”
Mr Miller said investigators were still trying to determine if Mr Saipov was connected in any way to the subjects of other investigations. He said it appeared he had been planning the attack for weeks but said he was not himself previously the subject of any investigations.
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