The man suspected of plowing a truck through a mobbed bike lane in New York City on Tuesday is 29 years old, from Uzbekistan with a green card, Fox News has confirmed.
Police have identified Sayfullo Saipov as the suspect accused of driving a rented pickup truck into a mob, killing at least eight people and injuring at the least 11 more near the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.
Saipov had worked as an Uber driver in New Jersey, where he was living as recently as the summer months. Uber is proving to Fox News that Saipov passed the company’s background check for drivers, but was now banned from the company. Uber added it has not found any safety reports concerning the terror suspect.
The suspect drove a rented pickup truck through a crowded bike path for several blocks before finally crashing into a yellow school bus near Chambers and West streets, police said.
After exiting the vehicle, Saipov hollered “Allahu Akbar” and waived around weapons believed to be a paintball handgun and a BB gun, police said. The suspect was shot twice by police and taken into detention. He remains in the hospital and is expected to survive his wounds.
Law enforcement officers said they discovered two notes, handwritten in Arabic, pledging loyalty to ISIS in and near the truck, Fox News has confirmed.
The New York Post reported that some type of emblem or picture of the terrorist organization’s flag was discovered.
It’s been reported that Saipov rented the truck from a Home Depot store in Passaic, N.J ., around 2 p.m. on Tuesday — an hour or so before the two attacks occurred.
Authorities discovered that Saipov had a Florida driver’s license and has been connected to an address in the Tampa area.
A friend, Kobiljon Matkarov, said he fulfilled Saipov while the two were living in Florida. He described Saipov as being “very friendly” and “very nice.”
Matkarov said he last insured Saipov a few months ago when the suspect picked him up from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Saipov had moved to the region in order to attempt better work opportunities.
Matkarov told Fox News that he never noticed any unusual behavior from the suspect, let alone that he’d been radicalized. He said that Saipov was generally a happy-go-lucky person who seemed to love America.
“I know his good side. I know nothing of his bad side, ” Matkarov said. “He was always happy. He liked the U.S. He loved this country. That’s why this is all very confusing.”
In a statement to Fox News, Uber said the company was in contact with the FBI and has offered its assistance to the investigation into Saipov. It added that Uber was reviewing Saipov’s history with the ride-hailing company.
Fox News’ Perry Chiaramonte and Nicole Darrah and the Associated Press contributed to this report .
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