Investigators inspect a truck following a shooting incident in New York on Oct 31. Eight people were killed and numerous others injured in New York when a suspect (inset)Saipov plowed a vehicle into a bike and pedestrian path in Lower Manhattan, and struck another vehicle on Halloween, police said. (AFP)

NEW YORK, Nov 1, (Agencies): An Uzbek immigrant suspected of killing eight people in New York City followed plans laid out by the militant Islamic State group and planned the attack weeks in advance, US investigators said on Wednesday. Police said they had interviewed Sayfullo Saipov, 29, who was shot and arrested by police moments after the rampage in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, in which a rental truck was driven down a riverfront bike path.

“It appears that Mr Saipov had been planning this for a number of weeks,” New York Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller told a news conference. “He did this in the name of ISIS (Islamic State) and along with other items recovered at the scene were some notes that indicate that,” said Miller. “He appears to have followed almost exactly the instructions that ISIS has put out on its social media channels to its followers.”

In Kuwait, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Wednesday sent a cable to US President Donald Trump expressing condolences and sympathy over the victims of Manhattan terrorist attack that killed eight people and wounded dozens others.

His Highness expressed condemnation of this criminal act, which targeted lives of innocent, breaching divine laws and human values. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah both sent similar cables to the American president. No Kuwaiti was hurt after a truck rammed into crowds in southern Manhattan Tuesday, Kuwait’s delegation to the United Nations has assured. In a press statement to KUNA, the delegation stated that initial contacts with local authorities indicated that so far, no Kuwaiti was among the victims of the attack. For their safety, the delegation urged nationals in New York to stay away from the attack scene and to follow the instructions of relevant local authorities.

In case of emergency, nationals are also advised to contact the delegation on the following numbers: +16462622882 and +16466515230. The attack was the deadliest on New York City since Sept 11, 2001, when suicide hijackers crashed two jetliners into the World Trade Center, killing more than 2,600 people. A further 12 people were injured, some critically, in Tuesday’s attack. Similar assaults using vehicles as weapons took place in Spain in August and in France and Germany last year.

The suspect allegedly swerved the pickup onto a path filled with pedestrians and bicyclists on a sunny autumn afternoon, mowing down people in his path before slamming into the side of a school bus. He then exited the vehicle brandishing what turned out to be a paint-ball gun and a pellet gun before a police officer shot him in the abdomen. The suspect underwent surgery for gunshot wounds at Bellevue Hospital, where he has been interviewed by police, Miller said. Saipov reportedly lived in Paterson, New Jersey, a one-time industrial hub about 25 miles (40 kms) northwest of lower Manhattan. He had rented the pickup from a Home Depot Inc hardware store which was located in Passaic, just south of Paterson. US Senator Lindsey Graham urged authorities to treat Saipov as an enemy combatant, a move that would allow investigators to question the man without him having a lawyer present. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that Saipov had been radicalized while living in the United States. “He is a depraved coward, is what he is, and he was associated with ISIS, and he was radicalized domestically,” Cuomo said in an interview with CNN.

The majority of the 18 Islamic Stateinspired attacks carried out in the United States since September 2014 were the work of attackers who developed radical views while living in the United States, said Alexander Meleagrou- Hitchens, research director at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. Six victims were pronounced dead at the scene and two more at a nearby hospital, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said. Five of the dead were Argentine tourists, visiting New York as part of a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation, the government there said. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said police will be out in force to protect the city’s marathon on Sunday, one of the world’s top road races, which draws some 51,000 runners from around the globe.

Source: Arab Times

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