Neighbor Noticed Something Suspicious About NYC Suspect

He says Sayfullo Saipov drove around in a Home Depot truck that was empty
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2017 4:46 AM CDT
NYC Suspect Practiced Driving Rental Truck
In this courtroom drawing, defendant Sayfullo Saipov, right, addresses the court during his arraignment on federal terrorism charges Wednesday at Manhattan Federal Court in New York.   (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Court papers filed against New York City terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov Wednesday stated that he asked for an ISIS flag in his hospital room—news that outraged President Trump, among others. "NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room," Trump tweeted Wednesday night. "He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!" Saipov, who was shot by police after allegedly mowing down pedestrians and cyclists on a New York city bike path in a rented Home Depot truck, was in a wheelchair when he appeared before a federal court Wednesday. He's being held without bail on charges that could carry the death penalty. In other developments:

  • Mysterious associate. The FBI released a poster Wednesday saying it was looking for Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, one of Saipov's associates, then said less than two hours later he had been found. A law enforcement source tells the AP that Kadirov was a friend of Saipov, and that it's not clear whether he was involved in the attack.
  • A year of planning. Authorities say Saipov planned the ISIS-inspired attack for at least a year. Carlos Batista, a neighbor in Paterson, NJ, says that over the last few weeks, he noticed Saipov driving around with friends in a Home Depot pickup. "They didn't even have one piece of wood in there, and that's why I found it a little suspicious," Batista tells the Washington Post. "And I do construction, so I know when somebody is doing some type of work."
  • Sundown vigil. A crowd gathered near the attack site for an interfaith vigil at sundown Wednesday, the New York Daily News reports. Leaders from New York's Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist communities delivered messages of peace.

  • A bag of knives. Saipov carried two imitation firearms when he left the truck at the end of his rampage, police say. According to the federal complaint filed Wednesday, he also had a bag of knives in the truck "but was unable to reach them before exiting," the New York Times reports. Prosecutors say they found 90 videos on his phone, including some of ISIS fighters executing prisoners.
  • "Argumentative and angry." Acquaintances who knew Saipov after he immigrated to the US from Uzbekistan tell the AP he was argumentative and angry. "He had the habit of disagreeing with everybody," says fellow Uzbek immigrant Mirrakhmat Muminov. "He was not happy with his life." Muminov says he suspected Saipov held radical views, though he never mentioned ISIS.
  • Victims identified. The attack killed five friends from Argentina and a Belgian mother of two who was visiting New York with her mother and sister. The Guardian reports that the other two people killed have been identified as 32-year-old New Jersey man Darren Drake and Nicholas Cleves, a 23-year-old web developer who was the only New Yorker killed in the rampage.
(More Sayfullo Saipov stories.)

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