The suspected terrorist responsible for killing eight and injuring roughly a dozen other people on Tuesday using a truck to mow over pedestrians and bikers reportedly bragged about the attack to police while in his hospital bed.
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, told police that he would have continued mowing over more people if he could have, sources told CBS News.
Saipov was driving a Home Depot rental truck when he drove onto a bike path along Manhattan’s West Side Highway on Tuesday. He then drove several blocks before crashing into a school bus. He got out of the vehicle and reportedly yelled “Allahu Akbar,” which translates to “God is Great” in Arabic. He was then shot in the abdomen by NYPD police officer Ryan Nash, taken into police custody and brought to a nearby hospital.
Five of the people killed in the attack were natives of Argentina celebrating their 30th anniversary of their high school graduation. They were identified as Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi.
Saipov moved to the United States from Ubzbekistan in 2010 and was a truck driver. He became radicalized through the internet while living in the U.S.
“[A]fter he came to the United States is when he started to become informed about ISIS and radical Islamic tactics,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on CNN on Wednesday morning. “Again, 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. But they are cowards and they are depraved.”
According to senior law enforcement officials, Saipov left a note in the truck he used to carry out the attack, claiming he carried out the act in the name of the Islamic State, news outlets are reporting.
NBC reported that the note translates to “ISIS Lives Forever,” citing a senior official who had been briefed on the investigation.
Saipov registered two companies, Sayf Motors, Inc., in 2011 and Bright Auto, LLC, in 2013, in Ohio, CNN reported.
Sources told CNN that Saipov was married in Ohio on March 25, 2013, to another Uzbek, Nozima Odilova.
Saipov was apparently most recently living in Passaic, New Jersey, and was reportedly working as an Uber driver. Uber said he passed a background check months ago and has since been removed from the app.