A truck ran over several people this last Tuesday in Lower Manhattan, near the World Trade Center in New York. The vehicle was driving along a bicycle path along the West Side Highway and hit several people. There are at least eight dead and 11 injured. The fact is being treated as a terrorist act.
The suspect, a 29-year-old man, was identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, told CNN by two police sources close to the investigation. Saipov left a note in the van stating that the attack was in the name of ISIS, a senior police official confirmed to CNN. The message, according to this person, was written in English.
Moments earlier, other sources said the suspect came to the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010. In addition, Uber told CNN that Saipov began working as a driver at the company just over six months ago, the company told CNN. The company also detailed that it only drove with this service in New Jersey.
After driving down several streets of the bike path, the alleged attacker hit a school bus and smashed his vehicle, a police officer said. Four people were taken off the bus with minor injuries.
After the crash, the driver left the vehicle holding two firearms, as reported by the NYPD, and that was when a policeman shot him in the stomach. The suspect is in custody and taken to Bellevue Hospital.
A police officer confirmed to CNN that he already had surgery.
According to a person informed about the investigation, this individual rented the car in New Jersey this same Tuesday.
The Foreign Ministry of Argentina confirmed that five of the people killed in the attack were citizens of that country, from the city of Rosario. The victims were identified as Hernán Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damián Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi. They also indicated that the Argentine Martin Ludovico Marro is "recovering from the injuries suffered, and finding himself out of danger, according to the official medical report."
Another of the deceased was identified as a Belgian citizen, as reported on Twitter by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Didier Reynders. "I am deeply saddened to announce a Belgian victim in Manhattan, I express my condolences to family and friends," he wrote.
What we know
The mayor of New York Bill de Blasio said at a press conference that there are 8 people killed and at least 11 injured. "Please keep your family and loved ones in your prayers," he said. "It was an act of cowardice of terrorism directed at innocent people," he added.
In his Twitter account, the president of the United States, Donald Trump said that it is a "terrorist attack" and extended his prayers, condolences and thoughts to the victims and their families.
New York Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill called the act "an act of terrorism" during the press conference. About the suspect he said that he is a 29-year-old man, but at that time he did not give information about the suspect's nationality.
An official informed about the matter told CNN that this person, in addition, has identification of Florida. Other sources told CNN that the suspect has an address in Tampa associated with him. In addition, they said that he arrived in the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010.
On his state of health, a source close to the investigation reported that the suspect has already left surgery.
The commissioner also explained that this man "said something" during the events, but did not specifically confirm his words. However, separately, four sources claimed that the witnesses reported that the suspect was shouting "Allahu Akbar." And one more source indicated that the FBI's Joint Task Force against Terrorism will lead the investigation of the case.
Six of the eight fatalities died on the scene. They were all men. The other two were taken to the hospital, but died there.
This video shows several people on the ground after the van hit them in lower Manhattan.
The vehicle is a rented van from Home Depot and company spokesman Matt Harrigan explained that they are "collaborating with the authorities" in their investigation.
Authorities believe it is a terrorist act because the driver said something shortly after leaving the van. In addition, the attack method is consistent with other terrorist attacks, said Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill. The vehicles have been used as weapons in a series of terrorist attacks in recent years, including the deadly incidents in Nice, France and London.
Right after the incident, the news footage showed several broken bicycles on the popular path, while the doctors treated the wounded in the background. The NYPD is not looking for more suspects.
"Be New Yorkers, live your life"
The Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo asked the citizens of New York not to be deterred by the fact. "Be New Yorkers, live your life," he said.
In fact, the Halloween parade scheduled for Tuesday will not be suspended. It is expected to start in the next few minutes. The head of the New York Police Department, Carlos Gómez, explained: "We will continue with the parade, and we have certainly added more resources: more police officers, heavy weapons equipment, street blocking vehicles that lead the route and sand trucks." There are also heavy weapons teams that are deployed at the scene in key locations"
Cuomo added that the new terrorist tactic is that of the "lone wolf." He indicated that there is no evidence to suggest that it is something broader, "but of the action of an individual who intended to cause pain and damage and probably death and the resulting terror”.
Due to Halloween, there was a lot of police presence when the multiple hit occurred in lower Manhattan, which allowed the quick capture of the main suspect.
"Terrorists understand very well the times in which they live"
Security expert Gerardo Rodríguez explained to CNN that terrorist groups know very well the customs of people today and plan their attacks based on these vulnerabilities that are generated.