As investigators started to question Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, who is recovering in hospital after being shot by a police officer, officials were seeking for clues to how the man who moved to the US in 2010 became radicalised.
Officials said after he left the truck after allegedly mowing down people on a city bike path, Mr Saipov had yelled “Allahu akbar”. Meanwhile, various reports said he left a note in the vehicle claiming he committed the attack for Isis.
Officials said Mr Saipov was an Uber and commercial truck driver and had most recently been living in Paterson, New Jersey. Intelligence officials believe the man who was married with two children, was a “lone actor” and was not part of a broader plot.
At the same time, attention has focussed on how and why the young man became radicalised. In the New Jersey neighbourhood he lived in, people said the family had lived in a property on and off for the last three years. Some people said they only saw Mr Saipov attend the local mosque occasionally.
CNN said Mr Saipov has been linked to social media accounts that contain Isis-related material, according to a law enforcement official. The official also said Mr Saipov has been somewhat cooperative with FBI and New York police investigators who questioned him in the hospital overnight.
In an interview with the network the morning after the attack on Lower Manhattan, 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 a 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.”
He said it was not just New York that was being tanged by such individuals, though the city had seen a series of them, the most deadly terror attack being the Al-Qaida terror attacks of 9/11. He added: “It’s going to continue.”
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