The man suspected of killing eight people in New York City is alleged to have spent weeks planning the attack, say police.
Sky News reports that NYPD deputy commissioner of counterterrorism, John Miller, said the truck rampage which also left 12 others injured was “carried out in the name of ISIS (Islamic State)”.
Eight cyclists and pedestrians were killed and 11 more have injured in the deadly truck attack in Lower Manhattan around 7pm yesterday evening.
The driver of the vehicle, named by media as Sayfullo Saipov, targeted the truck at those on the bicycle path, striking a number of people along the way, before being shot dead by police.
A 29-year-old man from Uzbekistan, Saipov is alleged to have carried out what Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, has described as “a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians”, after renting a pick-up truck.
The truck crashed into a school bus, injuring at least two children and two adults immediately after deadly assault before the truck driver exited the vehicle brandishing two imitation guns, at which point he was shot by a police officer.
The suspect was wounded in the abdomen and transferred to a local hospital and a paintball gun and a pellet gun were recovered from the scene.
So far, no wider plot has been uncovered involving accomplices, nor has a motive been identified, though a spokesperson for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has described the incident as an “apparent act of terrorism” and there are reports by police that the suspect had planned the attack for several weeks. Some reports also claim that Saipov shouted “Allah Akbar” (“God is greatest”) as he left the truck having been radicalised in the US.
The incident occurred in West St-Houston Street just a few blocks north of the World Trade Center where the 9/11 attacks took place, prompting police in New York to state their plans to deploy extra officers around the city “out of an abundance of caution”.
Amongst those killed were five friends from Argentina who were celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation from a polytechnic college in the central city of Rosario, Argentina.
President Trump tweeted that the US “must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere” while Uzbekistan’s president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, told Donald Trump that his country was ready to “use all forces and resources” to help investigate the attack.
Donald Trump is now calling for “extreme vetting” of immigrants having already introduced a ban on arrivals to the US from a number of mainly-Muslim countries – a move that has been challenged legally and is due before the Supreme Court in the coming weeks.
The American Civil Liberties Union civil rights group said the term extreme vetting was a “euphemism for discriminating against Muslims”.
The attack is the deadliest terror attack in the city since 11 September, 2001.