Security strengthened on NYC bike path; Islamic State claims credit

By Sara Shayanian  |  Nov. 3, 2017 at 10:57 AM
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Nov. 3 (UPI) -- The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the New York City terror attack that left eight people dead and put Lower Manhattan on high alert this week.

The terror group issued the claim late Thursday, more than 48 hours after a man ran into several people near the World Trade Center. Eight died and 13 were hurt. Authorities said a note pledging support for the Islamic State was found near the scene, believed to have been written by suspect Sayfullo Saipov.

The terror group did not provide any evidence to back up their claim of credit, but referred to Saipov, 29, an Uzbekistan national, as a "soldier of the caliphate," according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

A claim of responsibility by the terror network was largely expected, although some noted the lateness of the claim as uncharacteristic of the Islamist militant organization.

Investigators said they believe Saipov was a "lone wolf" when he drove a rented Home Depot pickup truck into bicyclists and pedestrians on Tuesday afternoon.

Saipov was shot and arrested by New York Police Department officers after the attack.

Police said they found 90 videos and over 4,000 images related to Islamic State propaganda on his cellphone.

Local and federal investigators continue to examine the attack. Security has been increased in Manhattan.

On Thursday, authorities placed nearly 60 concrete barriers along the Hudson River Park Bikeway to guard bicyclists from similar attacks.

Mourners gathered to hold a vigil for the victims.

"It's hard to believe that an area that 8 million people use a year in such a peaceful and happy manner has turned into a pathway of death and destruction," New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman said. "We're not going to let the darkness of terror prevail."

Saipov has been charged with providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization and violence and destruction of motor vehicles. He is being held without bail.

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