Manhattan Attack Planned Weeks in Advance
November 01, 2017
Investigators with the FBI and New York Police Department say evidence suggests Manhattan car-attacker Sayfullo Saipov planned his onslaught “weeks ahead of time,” and a photo published by the Daily Mail newspaper in the United Kingdom adds a chilling twist.
The Daily Mail photo shows an unidentified person holding up a smartphone with an image of the ISIS flag on its screen. But it was taken from the exact spot where Saipov began driving through a bicycle lane, running over bicyclists and pedestrians before running into a school bus.
SITE, a group that monitors online terrorist activity, says the photo was posted more than two months ago, reinforcing the law enforcement theory that he planned out that attack well in advance of actually carrying it out.
Saipov’s rented truck also contained a number of pieces of ISIS propaganda, as well as long knives he may have intended to use on bystanders. Those are all hallmarks of an ISIS-inspired “lone wolf” attack.
The terror group had urged its followers to conduct “Halloween attacks” on the West, but had highlighted Paris, not New York City, in its propaganda. An ISIS propaganda article, published last year, advises would-be terrorists to use a load-bearing truck, to target areas that draw large crowds, to bring with them a secondary weapon, to announce allegiance to Allah and to leave behind a note pledging support for the Islamic State.
Because Saipov was taken alive, it is unlikely ISIS will claim credit for his attack, but it’s clear from evidence collected so far, he Uzbek immigrant became aware of an influenced by the group’s ideology after moving to the U.S. Papers he intended to leave behind pledged his allegiance to the Middle East terrorist group.Saipov is reportedly well pleased, having bragged about his attack to investigators.