A truck attack in Manhattan has left seven people dead and several others injured. The incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon, just after 3 p.m., at West Houston Street on the West Street bike path.
The suspect went up on the curb and drove the vehicle — a rental from Home Depot — down the bike path, hitting whoever was in his way. According to the New York Post, nearly two dozen people were in the truck’s path.
Witnesses in the area claim that the suspect, who is currently in police custody, was heard yelling “Allahu Akbar,” which means “Allah is the greatest” in Arabic. That suspect has since been identified as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old from Uzbekistan. Saipov was shot in the abdomen by police.
The photo below shows Saipov in custody.
At first, many people were unsure what was going on. Social media was lighting up with reports of a shooting. Many were curious as to whether or not the incident was road rage related or if this was indeed an actor of terror. During a press conference that began at 5:15 p.m., New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that it was, indeed, a terror attack.
“It is a very painful day in our city. Based on the information we have at this moment, 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,” de Blasio said.
So far, no terrorist groups have come forward to claim responsibility for the Manhattan vehicle attack, but there are some stylistic similarities with the recent attacks in Europe. These similarities suggested early on that this incident could indeed be terror-related.
“The statements made by the driver moments after leaving the truck and the method of the attack were consistent with other terrorist attacks, New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said,” according to CNN.
In July 2016, an attack involving a truck took place in Nice, France; the assault was launch against people celebrating Bastille Day. A total of 87 people were killed in that incident. Four months later, a terror attack at a Christmas Market, in Berlin, Germany, left 12 people dead and dozens more wounded when a suspect drove a truck through a crowd. In June 2017, a terror attack on the London Bridge, in England, left 8 people dead after a truck drove into a crowd of people. And then in August 2017, a truck was involved in yet another terror attack in Spain.
According to Rita Katz, Director of SITE Intelligence Group, ISIS has “advised renting for vehicle attacks in Rumiya” and “many ISIS vehicle attacks were carried out with rentals.”
This is the first terror attack in New York City with casualties since the infamous September 11 attacks of 2001. Today’s incident took place just blocks away from the World Trade Center memorial. You can see the two locations on the map below.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is running point on the investigation, according to CNN.