Halloween was a night of “terror” in Lower Manhattan, as a driver crashed through a crowded bike path, killing eight and injuring eleven before being shot by law enforcement.
The motorist responsible for this “fright fest” was identified by police as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-nine-year old immigrant from Uzbekistan. Since establishing legal residence in the United States, Saipov has moved from state to state, living in Paterson, New Jersey and Tampa, Florida, before temporarily settling in New York. Irrespective of his residence, however, Saipov has kept operations and automobiles in other locations. A white mini-van of his, for example, was traced to Passaic, New Jersey.
Interestingly, according to authorities, this is not the first time Saipov’s name has surfaced in their database. However, they have yet to establish a link between this incident and their prior investigations. For this reason, they have not released further information on the matter, until findings are conclusive.
On the afternoon of October 31st, Saipov rampaged through the streets in a pick-up truck he had rented from a New Jersey Home Depot, plowing down his victims until ultimately crashing into a stop at the intersection of Chambers Street and West Street. The location of the attack nears the school zone of one of New York City’s competitive high schools — Stuyvesant — and extends for approximately one mile, five blocks north of the World Trade Center.
Upon crashing, Saipov exited the vehicle and began waving a pellet gun in one hand and a paintball gun in the other, while shouting, “Allahu akbar,” which translates from Arabic to “God is Great.” Near his vehicle, authorities identified handwritten letters, also in Arabic, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Although they have yet to identify a relationship between Saipov and ISIS, authorities identify Saipov’s actions as “terroristic.” At a news conference held the evening post-attack, Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “Based on information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.”
Officials have named this the deadliest attack on New York City since that of September 11, 2011, which too targeted the same localized area in which Saipov executed his onslaught.
The effects of Saipov’s actions manifested themselves in the tension that crowded the New York City streets throughout Halloween night. Greenwich Village’s Annual Halloween Parade, which runs through and up Sixth Avenue, had a lower turnout of the general public and a significantly higher police presence.
Although attacks like these instill fear, they do not permanently demoralize the New York City dynamic. However, they raise safety concerns, especially when it comes to responding against planned attacks versus spontaneous raids. The New York Police Department and Federal Agencies are responsible for both informing and promoting a city, state, and nation of their security and safety under any condition.