Sayfullo Saipov, the 29-year-old suspect in the Manhattan terrorist attack that left eight dead and several injured on Tuesday, reportedly pledged to ISIS.
Sources told NBC News that a note saying he pledged to the ISIS terrorist group was found in the Home Depot truck he used to attack people.
Saipov, a native of Uzbekistan, came to the United States in 2010. He drove a truck on the West Side Highway bike path on Tuesday, mowing down pedestrians and cyclists, officials said.
He also reportedly said, “Allahu Akbar,” before he was shot by police.
— 7News Yahoo7 (@Y7News) November 1, 2017
“He was very happy guy. He liked the US. He is no terrorist. He’s all the time happy, smiling all the time,” Kobiljon Matkarov, a fellow Uzbek national who knew him when he lived in Florida, told NBC.
Officials told NBC that he rented the Home Depot truck in Passaic, New Jersey, at 2 p.m. and drove to Manhattan. At 3:05 p.m., he drove the truck onto the bike path, hitting people.
“A vehicle drove straight down a bicycle path heading south in Manhattan just mowing everything down,” witness Greg Ahl told 1010 WINS radio. “It looks like a vehicle drove down the bicycle path and ran everything over.”
NY: U/D Photo, 29 y/o Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant identified as the terrorist who killed 8 in today's Manhattan truck ramming attack pic.twitter.com/V5V3Hw9BDa
— Yiddish News (@YiddishNews) November 1, 2017
— Asad Ali Toor (@AsadAToor) October 31, 2017
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said about the attack, CBS News reported.
“Today there was a loss of innocent life in lower Manhattan,” NYPD commissioner James O’Neill said Tuesday.
President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
Trump, who has pressed for a ban on travelers entering the United States from some predominantly Muslim countries, said in a Twitter post: “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”
Governor Andrew Cuomo said the suspect appeared to have acted alone.
“There’s no evidence to suggest a wider plot or a wider scheme. These are the actions of one individual meant to cause pain and harm and probably death,” Cuomo said at the news conference.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said 11 survivors with serious but non-life-threatening injuries were taken to the hospital.
Despite the attack, municipal officials said New York City’s main Halloween parade would go on as scheduled Tuesday evening, just a few blocks from the scene of the carnage, with a heightened police presence.
Reuters contributed to this report.