New York attack: Islamic State claims responsibility, says attacker was our ‘soldier’

As reported by AFP, the terror group claimed responsibility for the attack in an article published in their latest issue of their weekly newspaper al-Naba. Related News

The Islamic State group on Friday claimed responsibility for the terror attack in New York’s Manhattan where a man ploughed a truck into a crowd of people, killing at least eight. As reported by AFP, the terror group claimed responsibility for the attack in an article published in their latest issue of their weekly newspaper al-Naba. “One of the soldiers of the Islamic State attacked a number of crusaders on a street in New York City,” read the group’s al-Naba weekly newspaper, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

On Tuesday, 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented truck through a busy street in the Lower Manhattan area, claiming eight lives and injuring many others. He was brought down by a police bullet which hit him in the abdomen, following which he was apprehended. Federal authorities claimed he had been planning the attack for two months.

Saipov had zeroed in on the date of his attack to target Halloween crowds and inflict maximum damage. He also asked for an ISIS flag to be put up in hospital room, authorities said, adding that he claimed to have “felt good about what he had done.” Saipov faces terrorism charges that can put him on the death row.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump suggested that Saipov is sent to Gauntanamo Bay jail, an offshore prison of the United States and one of the most heavily guarded correctional facilities in the world. He also auggested that the suspect get the death penalty.

However, he abandoned the idea of sending him to Guantanamo on Wednesday, saying, “Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically, that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system……There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!”

The criminal complaint against Saipov in the court stated that the suspect had been planning on an attack since a year back and had homed in on a truck rampage about two months ago after watching videos of the same online. He is a married father of three and a former commercial truck and ride-hailing driver.

In the weeks leading to the attack, he had gone through the internet for info regarding Halloween in NYC. He also rented the vehicle to practise turns. He chose a path along a highway and originally had hoped to go on hitting more people on the Brooklyn Bridge, the complaint added.

On the day of the attack, he drove his truck down a bike path in high speed on a riverfront esplanade for almost a mile, mowing down cyclists and pedestrians before crashing into a school bus. He then jumped out of the truck waving two air guns and yelling “God is graet!” in Arabic, authorities said, adding that they found knives in his bag and a stun gun in the truck.

Ultimately, Saipov sped down a bike path on a riverfront esplanade in a rented truck for nearly a mile Tuesday, running down cyclists and pedestrians, before crashing into a school bus, authorities said. He was shot after he jumped out of the vehicle brandishing two air guns and yelling “God is great!” in Arabic, they said. Knives were found in a bag he was carrying. A stun gun was found inside the truck.

The Islamic State group had been known to encourage followers online to use close at-hand means such as vehicles, knives, etc, as a means of assassination in the countries they are living in. Such attacks, claimed and at times backed up by ISIS, have been seen in England, France and Germany, etc.

Even though the terror group has not furnished evidence to support their claim, what investigators found significant at the scene was a note left at the crime scene which showed that Saipov was following the intructions to the letter, NYPD Intelligence and Counterterrorism head John Miller said Thursday on “CBS This Morning.”

“He was following the ISIS instructions which says if you’re going to do this you need to claim credit for ISIS or we won’t know you’re one of us and to yell it out, post it online or their magazine even suggested leaving leaflets and this seems to touch on that last piece,” he said.

Miller added that as of now, Saipov appears to have worked alone, however, he warned that the investigations were still in their natal stages.

Although Trump called for the death penalty, experts say it’s unlikely they’ll become a speed bump in the prosecution. As reported by the Associated Press, a Fordham Law School professor says judges can weed out bias and will reject any defense claims about it. His lawyer, David Patton, says he hopes “everyone lets the judicial process play out.”

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