Manhattan truck attacker Sayfullo Saipov was 'soldier' of Islamic State, claims caliphate's propaganda paper

The attacker who killed eight people in a truck rampage in New York on Tuesday was a "soldier" of the Islamic State group, the jihadists said on Thursday, according to a US-based monitoring group.

 Manhattan truck attacker Sayfullo Saipov was soldier of Islamic State, claims caliphates propaganda paper

Terror attack in New York's Manhattan killed eight and injured 11 on Tuesday. Reuters

"One of the soldiers of the Islamic State attacked a number of crusaders on a street in New York City," said an article in the latest issue of the group's al-Naba weekly newspaper, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

The Islamic State group has an interest in taking credit for attacks carried out by individuals who are self-radicalized. Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen said he acted on behalf of the group, which claimed him as a "soldier of the caliphate," but there is no evidence he was in contact with the group.

Police say truck attack suspect Sayfullo Saipov drove his speeding truck onto a bike path on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring 12.

Saipov, 29, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, is charged with terrorism offences after allegedly driving a rented pickup truck down a mile-long stretch of bike path in Manhattan.

The charging document says he confessed to acting in the name of Islamic State and "felt good about what he had done," even demanding to hang an Islamic State flag in his hospital room.

Police said he appeared to have followed very closely "the instructions" that Islamic State put out to its followers on social media.

He was allegedly in possession of three knives, thousands of Islamic State propaganda images and dozens of videos that showed Islamic State fighters killing prisoners.

The picture of Saipov that has emerged is of a suspect who only radicalized after moving to the United States in 2010.

"The grace of Allah, the operation instilled fear in crusader America, prompting them to increase security measures and intensify actions against immigrants to America," Islamic State said in the al-Naba article, according to SITE.

After a gunman shot dead 58 people last month in Las Vegas, Islamic State claimed the killer was also one of its "soldiers" but the FBI said it found no such links with the accused, Stephen Paddock.

With inputs from AFP and AP

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Updated Date: Nov 03, 2017 09:45:23 IST