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Terrorist in deadly Manhattan truck attack was radicalized while living in U.S., Cuomo says

Scene after a gunman emerged from a crashed Home Depot truck and opened fire after apparently plowing down four riders Tuesday afternoon on a Lower Manhattan bike path Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 in Manhattan, N.Y. (James Keivom/New York Daily News/TNS)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the terrorist behind the deadly truck attack along a bike path in lower Manhattan was radicalized while living in the U.S.

Investigators probing the tragic Tuesday incident, which left eight dead and 11 injured, found a note left by ISIS-inspired suspect Sayfullo Saipov, Cuomo added.

“(A)fter he came to the United States is when he started to become informed about ISIS and radical Islamic tactics,” Cuomo said. “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.”

Cuomo stressed Wednesday on CNN that the investigation is ongoing.

The NYPD and the FBI are working to determine what led the Uzbekistan native to plow a rented pickup truck into innocent bikers and joggers on Halloween.

The 29-year-old is in critical condition after police shot him in the abdomen.

An Uber spokeswoman said Saipov drove for the popular ride sharing-company and records show Saipov was also licensed as a commercial truck driver and formed a pair of businesses in Ohio.

An Ohio marriage license shows that a truck driver with one of Saipov’s addresses and his name, spelled slightly differently, married a fellow Uzbek in 2013.

Cuomo called the driver a “depraved coward,” and says the attack “did not instill terror” among hardy New Yorkers.

“Don’t let them win. They are called terrorists. They want to impart terror. They didn’t,” Cuomo added.

It’s unlikely that Saipov had help, Cuomo said.

“The best evidence we have is that he was a ‘lone wolf’ model,” Cuomo told CBS’ “This Morning.”

It is possible the attacker was on the radar of federal authorities, but it was not clear if he was the focus of a probe or tangentially associated with an investigation, according to The New York Times.

“In many ways this was a, quote unquote, classic case of radicalization of a domestic jihadist who associated with ISIS. This is their new playbook,” Cuomo said

He added that Saipov had some contact with law enforcement since moving to the U.S. in 2010 — all for minor traffic issues.

“He had some vehicular violations,” Cuomo said. “The State Police actually helped him and his truck out of a ditch at one time.”

Investigators are digging through the killer’s social media to see what connections he may have had, the governor said.

“But, there is no evidence now that it was part of a larger conspiracy, larger plot. This is the evolution of the jihad tactics, right? It’s no longer geographically isolated.

“The internet has given them a global platform and a global training ground. They have a very simple play: rent a car; rent a truck; create mayhem,” he added.


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