UPDATE @ November 2, 8.40am: THE Uzbek immigrant accused of driving a truck into pedestrians on a busy New York City bike path, killing eight people, has been hit with terrorism charges.
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov appeared in the New York federal courthouse on Wednesday charged with providing material support to ISIS and violence and destruction of motor vehicles.
He did not enter a plea and was detained until his next court date on November 15.
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Deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism of the NYPD, John Miller, said the fatal attack was pre-planned and inspired by ISIS.
“He did this in the name of ISIS, and along with the other items recovered at the scene was some notes that further indicate that,” Mr Miller said.
“He appears to have followed almost exactly to a ‘T’ the instructions that ISIS has put out in its social media channels before with instructions to their followers on how to carry out such an attack.”
Federal Court papers also allege that the attacker chose Halloween because the “streets would be crowded” and that he wanted to display IS flags on the truck, but decided not to draw attention.
Five Argentinian high school classmates, two American men, and a Belgian mother were killed when the rented truck ploughed into them at West and Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan around 3.15pm on Tuesday afternoon.
EARLIER @ November 1, 6.30am: EIGHT people are dead, and dozens more injured after a vehicle ploughed into pedestrians on a busy New York City bike path.
The horror incident happened at West Street and Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan around 3.15pm on Tuesday afternoon.
“The vehicle struck multiple people on the path. There are several fatalities and numerous people injured,” NYPD tweeted.
The driver of the utility then emerged from the vehicle shouting and threatening people with “imitation firearms.”
“The vehicle continued south striking another vehicle. The suspect exited the vehicle displaying imitation firearms & was shot by NYPD,” police confirmed.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 31, 2017
The attacker, believed to be a 29-year-old male, is still alive and has been taken into custody.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has confirmed the incident was a “cowardly act of terror”.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) October 31, 2017