ISIS Claims New York Truck Attacker as its ‘Soldier’ as Trump Vows Military Response

A man kneels down and prays at a memorial after the truck attack. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
A man kneels down and prays at a memorial after the truck attack. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

More than two days after authorities said a man with apparent allegiance to the Islamic State drove a truck onto a Manhattan bike path, killing eight and injuring a dozen others, the militant group declared that the attacker was a “soldier of the caliphate.”

This declaration late Thursday fell short of claiming that the Islamic State had coordinated or directed the attack, but instead suggested that the rampage was inspired by the militant group. Law enforcement officials in the United States had said previously the suspect appeared to be guided by Islamic State ideology.

Federal authorities charged Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant, with carrying out the attack Tuesday, saying that it appears he was radicalized online sometime after coming to the United States in 2010. They say he chose Halloween to inflict maximum carnage, and he could potentially face the death penalty.

While investigators continue to probe whether he had any communications or direction from any Islamic State officials, that does not appear to be the case so far, law enforcement officials said.

Precisely how the Islamic State responds to attacks can signify its possible level of involvement. After the 2015 attacks in Paris, highly detailed news releases were quickly distributed. But, in other cases, claims of attackers as a “soldiers” will follow only after media reports emerge publicly showing that suspect or suspects had declared their allegiance to the group.

The Islamic State’s claim appeared to have resonated with President Trump, who paused a Friday morning tweetstorm largely focused on domestic politics to announce that the military had increased action against the group.

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SOURCE: Mark Berman 
The Washington Post