Police revealed Wednesday that the Uzbekistan native who is believed to have perpetrated Tuesday’s terror attack in New York City had been planning the attack for weeks and did reconnaissance of the route along which he allegedly ran over pedestrians and cyclists with a rented truck.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, who is accused of killing eight people and injuring at least 11 more in the Manhattan attack, was interviewed at the hospital Monday following his surgery, according to John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism.
Fox News noted that Miller declined to offer details of the interview, though reports indicated that Saipov bragged about the attack and claimed to be “proud” of his actions.
Prior to Tuesday’s attack, the Islamic State group had urged its followers to kill infidels on Halloween. The group had put out propaganda featuring a graphic of a blood-soaked machete and the date, October 31.
Saipov, who came to the U.S. in March 2010 through the Diversity Visa Program, has been labeled a “lone wolf” by many media outlets, and investigators have discovered evidence linking him to the Islamic State group.
According to Miller, Saipov had been planning the assault for “a number of weeks.”
Saipov reportedly toured the area of the popular Manhattan bike path where he perpetrated Tuesday’s attack, which Miller said he carried out “in the name of ISIS.”
Miller also cited as evidence notes that were left in the rental truck by Saipov which were handwritten and had symbols and Arabic words on them proclaiming that the “Islamic State would endure forever.”
Miller noted that Saipov followed “almost to a T” the instructions provided by the Islamic State group on perpetrating a vehicular attack.
Several knives were recovered from the rental truck, although they were not thought to have been used in Tuesday’s attack.
Saipov resided in Paterson, New Jersey, where FBI agents raided his home and were seen leaving with several bags of evidence.
Officials are interviewing Saipov’s relatives as part of the investigation into the attack.
When investigators ran Saipov’s name through their databases following Tuesday’s attack, it “popped” up in connection with a group of individuals who were known to law enforcement, Fox News reported.
One source said that Saipov had “close ties … (to) the group he rolled with (who) was known to law enforcement.”
In public remarks, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that Saipov was radicalized in the U.S. and referred to him as a “depraved coward” whose attempt to “instill terror” among New Yorkers failed.
“There was no grand statement that was done,” Cuomo said, according to The Washington Post. “It was an act of a coward.”
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