By Frederick H. Lowe
A motorist deliberately drove his pickup truck onto a New York City bike path, killing eight and injuring 13 in what the city’s mayor called a terrorist attack similar to the one that occurred on July 14, 2016 in Nice, France.
The driver, who police later identified as Sayfullo Habibulloevic Saipov was shot and arrested for New York’s terrorist attack, was seen running from the crash but he seemed not to know in what direction he was headed.
A police officer shot him in the abdomen and arrested him. After his arrest, police said he yelled “Allah Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great.” He was armed with a paintball gun and a pellet gun.
An ambulance drove him to a hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and is expected to survive.
Police said the 29-year-old suspect lived in Tampa, Florida, after moving to the U.S. from the Republic of Uzbekistan, a landlocked country in Central Asia. Islam is by far the dominant religion in Uzbekistan. Muslims constitute 79% of the population. A truck driver, he also has lived in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
An initial search of Saipov’s identity revealed no criminal activity on his part other than four traffic tickets. Police are viewing him thus far as a “lone-wolf” attacker.
Saipov rented a truck from Home Depot and at around 3:05 p.m. on Halloween, he drove it on the pedestrian/ bike path along Chambers Street on Manhattan’s West Side. The truck hit bicyclists and pedestrians and before careening into a school bus, injured four children.
Video footage from the scene showed bleeding bodies and mangled bicycles strewn along the path.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident a cowardly terrorist attack like one that took place in Nice when Mohammed Lahouaiej Bouhel drove a 19-ton truck onto the Promenade des Anglais, killing 86 and injuring 458.