On Tuesday, Uzbekistan native Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov killed 8 people and injured 15 in a terror attack in New York City. Saipov yelled “Allahu Akbar!” during the attack. Law enforcement revealed that Saipov was known for his direct ties to other terrorism suspects, but on Wednesday they also revealed that he seemed to be following instructions from the Islamic State (ISIS).
Saipov “did this in the name of ISIS,” explained John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner for intelligence and counter-terrorism. The terrorist had been planning the attack for a “number of weeks,” and appeared to have followed ISIS instructions on carrying out such attacks.
Miller also reported that law enforcement found a handwritten note in Arabic with symbols and words translating to a declaration that the Islamic State would endure forever.
CNN reported Miller’s recent comments, also noting that a police officer shot Saipov in the abdomen but he survived and underwent surgery Tuesday evening. Saipov may have been following generic ISIS guidelines to use heavier trucks, as PJ Media’s Bridget Johnson reported in May. Miller did not explain exactly what instructions the suspect followed, however.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the suspect was “radicalized domestically.”
“The evidence shows — and again, it’s only several hours, and the investigation is ongoing — but that after he came to the United States is when he started to become informed about ISIS and radical Islamic tactics,” Cuomo added.
The governor also referred to Saipov as a “lone wolf” terrorist, however, despite reports that he was on law enforcement’s radar and even questioned by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2015. PJ Media’s Pat Poole rightly reported that Saipov is really a “known wolf.”
DHS agents interviewed Saipov in 2015, but did not have enough evidence to open a case on him, ABC News reported. The suspect’s name and address was listed as a “point of contact” for two different men whose names were on the Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit’s list. One of these men has vanished and is being sought by federal agents as a “suspected terrorist.”
Poole rightly asked why the FBI never opened a case file on Saipov, and why his Diversity Visa wasn’t revisited.
Despite these links to suspected terrorists, ABC News reported “it appears that the suspect found ISIS propaganda online and was not part of a terror cell.”
Now, law enforcement are reporting that Saipov actually followed ISIS instructions in carrying out the attack. That makes it even less likely he wasn’t part of a terror cell.
People from Saipov’s mosque have started denying ever seeing him and insisting he wasn’t a member. The suspect’s neighbors said he attended Omar Mosque, but worshipers denied it — almost as if they were hiding something. It gets better — the mosque was previously targeted by the NYPD Intelligence Unit as far back as 2005.
Saipov declared “Allahu Akbar!” He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. He even left a document declaring ISIS will live forever. As if that weren’t enough, it appears he was following ISIS instructions on how to carry out a terror attack. The media needs to start asking the hard questions: Was he part of a cell? Does he have accomplices? Does the mosque teach or harbor Islamist doctrines?
Answers to these questions are vitally important,. While not all Muslims are infected by radical ideology, it is important to face the Islamist terror threat head-on. It does no justice to peaceful Muslims to deny the Islamic roots of the Islamic State, and it does concrete harm to national security to paper over this continuing threat.