Authorities say the man who killed eight people when he drove a rental truck along a bike path lived quietly with his wife and three kids in New Jersey. It has been widely reported that Sayfullo Saipov, a native of Uzbekistan, came to the U.S. in 2010 as part of the Diversity Immigrant Lottery and held a green card. Since moving to the U.S., Saipov had lived in Stow, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland, and Tampa, Florida. At the time of the truck ramming attack, Saipov was living in Paterson, New Jersey, with his wife Nozima Odilova and their three children. He had been working as an Uber driver.
In total, eight people were killed and 11 others were injured when the suspect drove a flatbed truck on to a cycle path along West Street in Manhattan on Halloween.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Odilova Has Denied Knowledge of the Attack
NBC News’ Tom Winter reports that Odilova is co-operating with investigators. She has denied any knowledge of the attack. Odilova was questioned by the FBI on November 1. The Washington Post reported that Odilova was “shocked and horrified and scared and sad.”
Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counter-terrorism John Miller told the media that authorities believe Saipov had been planning the attack for weeks. Miller also said that it’s thought Saipov performed “dry-runs” of the attack plan.
Saipov was not under investigation by the NYPD or the FBI for his activities. ABC News reports that Saipov was questioned in 2015 after he was listed as a point of contact for two people who were being tracked by agents. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “The new terrorist tactics, which they have called for publicly, are lone wolves that can make an act of terror.” Saipov did not have a criminal record but had two traffic stops in 2012 and 2015, reports NJ.com.
2. The Couple Was Married When Odilova Was 19 Years Old
Both Saipov and Odilova come from the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. She is six years younger than Saipov, reports NJ.com. The 2014 U.S. Census said that there were around 100,000, Uzbeki born people living in America.
After Saipov came to America in 2010 he stayed with a friend, Dilnoza Abdusamatova, in a Cincinnati suburb. Abdusamatova told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “He always used to work. He wouldn’t go to parties or anything. He only used to come home and rest and leave and go back to work.” The newspaper goes on to report that Saipov got a marriage certificate in Summit County, Ohio, in 2013. The couple married in the area on April 12, 2013, three days before the Boston Marathon Bombing. According to Newsday, Odilova was 19 years old at the time of their nuptials.
3. Officers Have Been Seen Taking Trash Bags Full of Evidence From Saipov’s Home in New Jersey
Investigators could be seen going through Saipov and Odilova’s home in the aftermath of the attack, reports NJ.com. According to reporter Keldy Ortiz, the family lived at 168 Genessee Avenue in Paterson. An older woman lived with the family, she has been described as either Saipov’s mother or mother-in-law.
A neighbor told NJ.com that he would regularly see Saipov and Odilova together with their children in the Paterson, New Jersey, neighborhood. The neighbor said that Saipov was sociable and the families would often be in each other’s houses. While another, Slavo Petrov, 64, described Saipov to NJ.com as “unfriendly” and that he “never says good morning and never says good afternoon.”
4. Authorities Say Saipov Has Expressed His Pride in the Attack
Officials say that Saipov is not co-operating with authorities and that he is “proud” of his alleged act. Notes were found in Saipov’s Home Depot rental truck that were written in Arabic. One of those notes read something to the effect of, “ISIS will endure forever.” Initial reports have said that Saipov appears to have been “self-radicalized” and didn’t attend training from the Islamic State.
5. Trump Has Called for an End to the Diversity Immigrant Visa
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Trump has called for an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Trump has long advocated for a merit-based immigration system. During a series of tweets on the subject, Trump laid the blame for the program at the feet of New York Senator Chuck Schumer. In addition, the president has called for a “step up” in the Department of Homeland Security’s Extreme Vetting system.
The five Argentinian victims, who were on a class reunion trip from the city of Rosario, have been named as Diego Angelini, Ariel Erlij, Hernan Ferruchi, Hernan Mendoza and Alejandro Pagnucco, reports ABC News. While another member of their group, Martin Marro, was hospitalized with injuries. Another person who was killed was Ann-Laure Decadt, 31, a Belgian mother of two children, reports the New York Daily News.
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