The FBI announced on Wednesday that it is looking for a second man who may have been involved in the fatal terrorist vehicular attack in New York city that took the lives of eight people and injured 11. The driver of a pickup truck that ran down the victims, Sayfullo Saipov, is a legal permanent resident from Uzbekistan who immigrated to the U.S. through the State Department’s Diversity Visa program. Federal authorities are seeking a second Uzbek man for question. He has been named by the FBI as a 32-year-old Uzbek national by the name of Mukhammadzoir Kadirov.

Saipov faced charges in a federal court of carrying out the attack in the name of the Islamic State. The charges contend that he drew inspiration from videos produced by Muslim extremists. The man that the FBI is seeking is Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, 32, an Uzbek. 

According to the criminal complaint against him, Saipov began planning the attack a year ago and decided to use a truck about two months ago. He rented a pickup truck from a Home Depot store. He chose Halloween for the attack because he believed there would be more people on the street and the bike path where he killed and injured his victims. He also appears to have connections to others who are under investigation. 

A handwritten note was found at the scene where Saipov crashed the pickup into a school bus near the Stuyvesant High School “The gist of the note was that the Islamic State would endure forever,” said NYPD deputy commissioner John J. Miller at a news conference on Wednesday morning. The note echoed instructions found on Rumiyah -- the online magazine published by the Islamic State, which calls on Muslims to carry out a truck attack and to leave behind a note pledging allegiance to the terrorist group. “He appears to have followed almost to a T the instructions that ISIS has put out,” Miller said.

While Miller said Saipov had never been the subject of a New York Police Department or F.B.I. investigation, other law enforcement officials said that federal authorities had him on their radar. He came the federal authorities’ attention after he contacted an Uzbek who was under investigation by terrorism investigators in New York.

After renting a pickup truck at a Home Depot store in New Jersey about  2:06 p.m. on Tuesday, Saipov crossed into Manhattan on the George Washington Bridge. According to police, a surveillance camera caught him at 3:04 p.m. driving onto a bike path alongside the Hudson River where he targeted pedestrians and cyclists that he mowed down with the truck. After crashing into a school bus, he exited the truck with a pellet gun and a paintball gun in hand and shouted “Allahu akbar!” Authorities found knives in the truck, besides a note that indicated Saipov’s declared allegiance for the Islamic State.
 



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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