A driver drove a pickup truck at high speeds into a crowded Manhattan bike lane Tuesday, killing a total of eight and injuring eleven in the deadliest terror attack on New York City since 9/11.
Officials have said the truck, a white pickup, hit multiple pedestrians and bicyclists in a violent swerve down a bike path along the Hudson River before crashing into a school bus.
The truck left a path of violent destruction, leaving several victims strewn across the bike path, along with a trail of mangled bicycles.
After leaving his crashed pickup, the driver yelled, “Allahu Akbar,” the infamous Islamic phrase meaning, “God is great,” before brandishing a pellet and paintball gun. An officer then shot the driver in the abdomen, disabling him.
The driver, identified as Sayfullo Saipov by police, is an Uzbekistan national who legally immigrated to the United States in 2010. A 29-year-old man, Saipov has a wife and three kids. He was an Uber driver for the past few months.
Saipov has expressed enthusiasm and support of the Islamic State, going as far as requesting to hang its flag in his hospital room. Officials said Saipov claimed his attack was inspired by a video of the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, giving a propagandist speech.
The 8 victims consisted of 5 Argentinians on a high school anniversary celebration.
Authorities reported discovering handwritten notes inscribed in Arabic near the pickup, apparently signifying allegiance and credit to the ISIS, the notorious jihadist militant group in the Middle East.
Officials have said that Saipov had already a history with federal authorities before the attack.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, has supported the death penalty for Saipov, tweeting, “NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!”
The attack is yet another in a growing wave of fatal vehicular terror attacks across the world, the most recent example being an attack in Barcelona, where a van killed 14 people.