An Uzbek immigrant suspected of killing eight people in New York City by crashing a truck through a crowd on a bike path followed online plans from Islamic State and left a note saying the militant group would “endure forever,” police said on Wednesday.
Police said they had interviewed Sayfullo Saipov, 29, who is in hospital after an officer shot him, ending the riverfront rampage. They said he appeared to have been planning the attack for weeks and that investigators recovered notes and knives at the scene.
“The gist of the note was that the Islamic State would endure forever,” New York Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller told a news conference. “He appears to have followed almost exactly the instructions that ISIS has put out on its social media channels to its followers.”
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.
Saipov allegedly used a pickup truck rented from a New Jersey Home Depot Inc store to run down pedestrians and bicyclists on the 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.