The wife of the Uzbek man accused of killing eight people in a terrorist attack in New York said she was “shocked and horrified and scared and sad.”
Nozima Odilova, the 24-year-old wife of the accused attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, claimed she had no prior knowledge of the attack and had no idea what her husband was planning.
According to a criminal complaint filed on the night of Nov. 1, Saipov told police he had been planning the attack for over a year.
Saipov drove a rented truck onto a bike path in New York running down and killing eight people and injuring a dozen. It was the worst terrorist attack New York has seen since 9/11.
Saipov told police he rented the truck on Oct. 22 and practiced driving it so he would be able to maneuver through the confines of the park.
Saipov decided on a truck attack “to inflict maximum damage against civilians” and specifically chose to strike on Halloween “because he believed there would be more civilians on the street for the holiday,” the complaint states.
After the attack, Saipov asked if he could put an ISIS flag on the wall of his hospital room.
Saipov was apparently radicalized via the internet after coming to the United States.
Saipov told investigators he was inspired by ISIS videos, particularly a video of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to a federal criminal complaint.
According to sources inside Uzbekistan, Saipov’s parents are “shocked and shamed” by the attack.
“They cannot understand how he came to do this terrible deed and they had no warning that this was coming,” said a source.
“They feel disgrace on their family,” said a neighbor, who described them as “good people, Muslims yes of course, but not fanatics.”
Neighbors Thought Attacker Was Normal
Saipov, a 29-year-old father of three, came to the United States in 2010. he lived in Ohio at first, then moved to Florida, and then to Paterson, New Jersey, in the spring of 2017.
His New Jersey neighbors saw very little that was unusual about the Uzbek national.
Altana Dimitrovska, who lives in the same apartment complex, said she was surprised by the news about the carnage.
Another neighbor, Carlos Batista thought it was odd that Saipov used to rent a Home Depot pickup truck and drive around the block, when he apparently had nothing in the bed haul.
Batista still had a positive impression of his new neighbor. Once when Batista got into an argument with two of Saipov’s friends, Saipov came out his house to break up the dispute. “He was the peacemaker,’’ Batista said.
One of his Florida neighbors, Kyong Eagan, was also shocked to hear the news.
“He was a small guy, only 100 pounds and 5 feet tall,’’ she said. “I could have punched and knocked him down. I can’t believe this small guy did this monstrous thing.’’
Eagan described her neighbor as “shy, soft-spoken, very quiet,’’ and said he was very generous toward her.
“He would give me a whole case of water from his truck,” Eagan said. “Sometimes he would give me a whole box of mango juice and never charged me.”
Eagan said Saipov would bring her Uzbek food he had cooked himself, wanting to share his native culture. On weekends about 30 men would gather at the Saipov residence to pray.
“I just have to pinch myself over and over,” Eagan said. “That’s my neighbor. That’s my neighbor. This doesn’t make sense to me. He was a very polite man. He offered me food and drinks. He never said anything hateful about the country. He’s a monster now.”