Crime & Mayhem

Terrorist Truck Driver a 'Lone Wolf' Who Was Radicalized in US, Cuomo Says

November 1, 2017 10:46am | Updated November 1, 2017 10:46am
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was arrested in 2016 after he failed to appear in court for a minor traffic violation in St. Charles County, Missouri's, according to their Department of Corrections.
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Courtesy of St. Charles County, Missouri's Corrections Department

NEW YORK CITY — The terrorist truck driver who killed eight people and injured many more Tuesday driving a rental truck down the West Street bike path was "radicalized domestically" but acted as a "lone wolf" in the deadly rampage, Governor Andrew Cuomo said a day after the attack.

The attack by Sayfullo Saipov, 29, who drove a truck he rented from Home Depot nearly a mile down the bike path was an "isolated incident that he himself performed," Cuomo told CNN on Wednesday.

"After he came to the United States is when he started to become informed about ISIS and radical Islamic tactics," the governor said. "We have no evidence yet of associations or a continuing plot or associated plots."

Saipov, who is originally from Uzbekistan, stated "Allahu akbar" — Arabic for "God is great" — after exiting his vehicle clutching a paintball and pellet guns in each hand, police said. 

Officers responding to the scene then shot Saipov in the stomach before taking him into custody, police said. He is expected to survive. 

"ISIS has gotten it down to a simple formula that they can put on the internet, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to rent a car, rent a truck," the governor told CNN. 

"I resist the temptation to delve into who they were and why," he added. "We know why. They hate America. And New York is a target, let's be honest."

Cuomo added that Saipov has had several run-ins with law enforcement, most of them being minor traffic incidents. He noted that state police once helped pull him and his vehicle out of a ditch, without providing specific details.  

The attack left eight people dead — including five from Argentina who were celebrating their 30th high school reunion — and 11 seriously injured.