Homeland Security

ISIS Claims N.Y. Attack by 'One of the Soldiers of the Islamic State of America'

A New York Police Department officer stands next to a body covered under a white sheet near a mangled bike along a bike path Oct. 31, 2017, in Manhattan. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The Islamic State made its first official acknowledgement of the Halloween attack on the West Side bike path in Manhattan, calling terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov “one of the soldiers of the Islamic State of America ” in their weekly newsletter released today.

ISIS lauded the attack in al-Naba, an Arabic-language 16-page color newsletter distributed within ISIS territory and online as a PDF. Instead of being buried in the news briefs in the back of the issue, where ISIS recently touted the death toll and damages in California wildfires, the New York news was nestled next to the editor’s note on page 3.

Without mentioning Saipov by name, ISIS said the attacker killed “a number of crusaders on a street in New York City” close to the site of the “Battle of 11 September.”

ISIS, which has in explicit detail encouraged followers to use larger and heavier trucks to inflict more damage, noted that Saipov used a “small truck” to kill eight people. They also noted that Argentinian and Belgian victims were among the dead.

The attack, they said, “provoked terror within the Crusader America, which led them to increase security measures and tighten procedures for migrants entering America.”

President Trump vowed to institute more extreme vetting procedures and pressure Congress to end the diversity lottery through which Saipov, originally from Uzbekistan, resettled in the United States in 2010.

ISIS also made another claim of the Las Vegas attack, stating of Manhattan, “This is one of the most prominent attacks targeting the crusaders in the region America, the last of which was the attack of the martyr Abu Abd.” After the mass shooting at the beginning of October, ISIS claimed Stephen Paddock had converted to Islam six months before and they began referring to the shooter as “Abu Abdul Bar al-Amriki” — the American. They noted in the Manhattan attack claim today that Paddock killed “a great cross-section of the Crusaders.”

Federal officials have said they have found no links between Paddock and Islamist terrorism.

“These attacks come in the context of the response … to appeals targeting the citizens of the Crusader countries participating in alliance against the Islamic State,” the article concluded.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that Saipov began planning his attack a year ago, and specifically an attack involving a rented truck two months ago. A note was found in the truck saying in part that ISIS “will endure.”

The FBI complaint says he had about 90 ISIS propaganda videos, including of executions, downloaded on his cell phone along with thousands of images. He reportedly asked for an ISIS flag to be hung above his hospital bed.