NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The suspect in the terror attack in Lower Manhattan followed ISIS guidance “almost exactly to a T,” the NYPD’s counterterrorism chief John Miller said Wednesday.
His truck ultimately stopped after ramming a school bus. Saipov then jumped out of the truck wielding a paintball and pellet gun, authorities said, before being shot by hero NYPD Officer Ryan Nash, ending the rampage.
“Based on the investigation overnight, it appears that Mr. Saipov had been planning this for a number of weeks. He did this in the name of ISIS, and along with the other items recovered at the scene were some notes that further indicate that,” said Miller. “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.”
“We are living through the evolution of the jihadist tactics,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “At one time they were geographically located, the internet is now giving them a global platform, global training ground. And they come up with a very simple scheme which is rent a car, rent a truck and perform as much mayhem as you can.”
“Terror organizations, especially ISIS, have figure out that this is the biggest bang for their buck,” terrorism expert Manny Gomez told CBS2’s Chris Wragge and Mary Calvi. “It’s the weapon of choice. They’ve always preached that if you can’t come fight with us in Iraq and Syria, then go out to the street, improvise explosive devices such as pressure cooker bombs, knives, what have you. But this is the simplest and most effective weapon that they have figured out recently, that anybody could simply just rent a vehicle, steal a vehicle, or use their own vehicle to cause mass casualties like we saw yesterday.”
ISIS has previously released propaganda online describing how to carry out an attack.
“Boy, did he follow that playbook,”former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morrell told CBS This Morning. That said, Morrell added that ISIS wasn’t growing stronger.
“They are now becoming a normal terrorist organization. They are going underground. They are going into the shadows. They will still have influence. They will still be able to get their message out,” Morrell said.