New York truck attack kills 8 in 'act of terror'

New York truck attack kills 8 in 'act of terror'

Eight people died and 12 injured in the worst terror attack on New York since September 11, 2001 as a lone wolf extremist screaming 'Allahu Akbar' used a pick-up truck to mow down cyclists along a bike path on Halloween.

The attacker struck just a few blocks from the site of the World Trade Center memorial, running over afternoon riders on the path before reaching a road and ploughing into a school bus.

He then jumped out of the truck wielding what turned out to be a pellet gun, and a paintball gun. He was chased and shot in the stomach by a police officer but survived and was arrested, the Telegraph reported.

The suspect has been identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, who arrived in the US in 2010. He has a Florida driver's license but was reportedly living in Paterson, New Jersey, with family, sources told Fox News. 

US media, citing police sources, said that Saipov left a note in the truck claiming he committed the attack on behalf of the ISIS.

US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: "Looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!" The US president added: "We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!"

A White House official said Mr Trump had been fully briefed by his chief of staff John Kelly and was being "continually updated".

The attack begun shortly after 3pm when the truck mounted a bike path that runs down along the western edge of Manhattan, along the Hudson River, at Houston Street. It headed south, smashing into pedestrians and cyclists as it picked up speed and leaving bodies crumpled in its wake.

The attacker continued all the way until Chambers Street - a distance of round 20 blocks - before heading back to the road. The truck smashed into a yellow school bus, injuring children and adults and leaving sizable dents in both vehicles. The crash happened just a few blocks from World Trade Center memorial.

The attacker was left injured but not incapacitated. Stumbling from the car, he pulled out what appeared to be two guns - but were later confirmed to be a paintball and pellet gun. "Allahu Akbar", he begun to shout - "God is Great" in Arabic - as passersby screamed and ran in all directions. 

The city's police chief, James O'Neill, confirmed that the suspect made a statement that suggested terrorism as a motive when he exited the vehicle. "If you just look at the M.O. of the attack, that's consistent with what's been going on. So that along with the statement has enabled us to label this a terrorist event," he said.

"This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack, and authorities have said there is no ongoing threat or evidence of a wider plot.

The Russian Embassy to the United States said that the embassy was not informed about any Russians killed or injured in the attack.

A spokesman for the Russian Consulate General in New York said by phone that the mission "received no information about any Russians injured as a result of the terror attack."

"We are monitoring the situation," TASS cited him as saying.

The US Department of Homeland Security described the incident as an "apparent act of terrorism."