NYPD, FBI looking into connections of ‘lone wolf’ after Manhattan attack

NYPD and FDNY officers surround the area after a truck hit pedestrians and left 8 dead In Lower Manhattan on Tuesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

By Ed Adamczyk – UPI

“We will stop this craziness!” President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Local and federal authorities are digging into a “lone wolf” attack near the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan that killed eight people and injured others Tuesday, in what officials say is the city’s deadliest terrorist attack since Sept. 11.

The attack unfolded late Tuesday afternoon when a man ran a rented pickup truck into bicyclists and pedestrians before crashing into the back of a school bus. Authorities said he emerged shouting “God is Great” in Arabic — and ran down the street waving some sort of handgun.

The suspect, identified as Sayfullo Saipov, was shot by a New York City police officer and arrested. About a dozen people were injured.

The incident began at West Street, near Houston Street and the West Side Highway. Nearby Public School 89 was locked down.

Saipov, 29, is an immigrant from Uzbekistan who arrived in the United States in 2010. He’s lived in Tampa, Fla., and Paterson, N.J., police said.

Authorities are looking into a motive for the attack, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo called a “lone wolf” strike. Sources told WABC-TV that Saipov left a note in the pickup truck pledging support for the Islamic State terror network — and investigators said they are working to find any potential militant connections.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an address.

Cuomo said there is “no evidence to suggest a wider plot” of terrorism, but added that New Yorkers should expect increased security.

Five of the dead were from Argentina and were in the city to celebrate their 30th anniversary of school graduation, Argentina’s foreign affairs ministry said. Another person who died was Belgian, officials said.

A former neighbor of Saipov’s in Florida, Kobiljon Matkarove, told NBC News that the suspect “is no terrorist.”

“He was a very happy guy,” he said, noting that Saipov is a truck driver and married with three children.

Later Tuesday, President Donald Trump pledged resolve.

“In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!” he tweeted.

Wednesday morning he linked the attack with U.S. immigration policy.

“The terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a [New York Sen.] Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based,” he tweeted.

“We will stop this craziness!”

The FBI and New York City Police Department issued a call seeking anyone with images or video that could be useful in the investigation.

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