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Did New York terror maniac target tourists?

November 3, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

As police widen their investigation into the New York terrorist outrage that killed eight people, questions arise as to whether the suspect deliberately went out to kill tourists.

Suspect Sayfullo Saipov is accused of using a truck to deliberately run down pedestrians and cyclists “in the name of ISIS”. He is said to have chosen Halloween to commit the atrocity. The area where the suspect struck is popular with tourists. The eight dead included six tourists: five Argentineans and a Belgian. Visitors to New York were among those injured.

The terror group has targeted tourism precincts before, in London, Paris, Nice, Brussels, Barcelona, Stockholm, Berlin and elsewhere.

The FBI alleges Saipov planned to continue his New York killing spree on Brooklyn Bridge. He ended up crashing into a school bus before a policeman’s bullets put an end to his rampage.

Suspect Sayfullo Saipov

Saipov is now under guard in hospital, facing a string of charges that may carry the death penalty. As well as the eight killed, 12 people were injured, some critically. US President Donald Trump is among those pressing for the perpetrator to be executed.

Fred Dixon, president and chief executive of NYC & Company, the official destination marketing organisation for the City of New York that deals with travel agents and tour operators, issued a statement yesterday: “We are deeply saddened by the terrible attack of October 31, and are thankful and reassured by the swift actions of the NYPD and first responders.

“Our deepest sympathies are with all the victims and their families. It is profoundly disheartening to learn of the five Argentineans and the Belgian who were among those who lost their lives, and other visitors who were injured or affected who were simply here to experience and enjoy this incredible City.

“We condemn this senseless act of violence here and those in other destinations around the globe. We are a strong, united and resilient community. New York City remains a safe and welcoming destination for leisure visitors and meetings delegates, and we encourage travellers to continue with their plans here and elsewhere.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “This was the act of a depraved coward. There is no grand statement to what was done. It was the act of a coward.”

New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill called the outrage “the worst terror attack in New York City since Sept 11, 2001.”

Saipov, a Muslim from Uzbekistan who emigrated to the US seven years ago, is said to have left behind at the murder scene several knives and a note, in Arabic and English, that included Islamic religious references.

CBS quoted FBI agent Amber Tyree, who said Saipov claimed to have been inspired by ISIS videos and to have begun plotting an attack about a year ago.

He had hoped to drive from the bike path across lower Manhattan to run down more pedestrians on the Brooklyn Bridge, Tyree said.

President Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, has called the suspect “this animal” and has pledged to begin work immediately to terminate the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which Homeland Security has confirmed Saipov used to enter the US.

Trump has stressed several times that he wants “merit-based” immigration. He has previously formulated various versions of a travel ban aimed mainly at predominantly Muslim countries.

Written by Peter Needham

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