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Islamic State Claims Responsibility For NYC Vehicle Attack

On Wednesday, a damaged Home Depot truck remains at the scene of a deadly attack in New York City the day before.
Mark Lennihan
On Wednesday, a damaged Home Depot truck remains at the scene of a deadly attack in New York City the day before.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

The Islamic State is claiming responsibility for Tuesday's vehicle attack in New York City that killed eight people and injured a dozen others.

The extremist group did not provide evidence of its involvement in the attack, but in a weekly issue of its Al-Naba newsletter, it claims that "the attacker is one of the caliphate's soldiers."

Sayfullo Saipov, 29, was shot by police but survived the attack in which law enforcement officials say he drove a rented truck through a group of pedestrians and cyclists in Manhattan. Authorities in New York say they found a note near the scene that was written in Arabic and expressed an affinity for ISIS.

In the statement in Al-Naba, ISIS said, "Thank God this operation has caused a state of panic in crusader America, leading it to take more security measures regarding immigrants to America."

NPR's Greg Myre notes that it is unusual for ISIS to make claims of responsibility in this weekly newsletter — it's more common for the claims to be disseminated through its Amaq news agency or on Telegram, an encrypted messaging service.

It's also worth noting that ISIS has claimed responsibility for attacks where the attacker has merely expressed sympathies in line with the militant group's propaganda, as well as attacks that it has directly orchestrated.

Saipov, a native of Uzbekistan and a legal resident of the U.S., was charged Wednesday in federal court with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

As NPR's Camila Domonoske reported earlier:

"The suspect, according to the complaint, began planning the attack about a year ago in response to a video in which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi asked what Muslims in the U.S. were doing in response to the killing of Muslims in Iraq. Saipov, after renting a truck nine days earlier to practice making turns, is said to have chosen to carry out the attack on Oct. 31 because there would be more people on the streets owing to the Halloween holiday. The complaint asserts his aim was 'to kill as many people as he could.' "


"New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the attack as a 'classic case of a radicalization of a domestic jihadist who associated with ISIS,' telling CBS on Wednesday that 'the best evidence we have is that he was a lone wolf.' "

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.