16 october 2018

Central Asia news

Ferghana News finds house of alleged NYC Halloween terrorist in Tashkent

01.11.2017 19:38 msk


A Ferghana News correspondent tracked down a house in Tashkent, where Saifullo Saipov, the New York Halloween terror attack suspect, lived until 2006 (Ferghana News has a reference from the address bureau - the photo below). It is located in the Shaykhantahur district, in the north-west of the city. As the new owners of the flat told the correspondent, they discontinued Saipov’s registration at their address through the court five years after the purchase - in November 2011. It is not known where his family lives now.

A former neighbour of the Saipovs reported that Saifullo was raised with three sisters. She called his family "modern" and "secular", noting that Saifullo did not go to a mosque in the years she knew him.

It was reported earlier that Saipov arrived in the United States in 2010, having obtained a residence permit. President of the United States Donald Trump confirmed on his Twitter account that the suspect won his green card in a lottery, as part of the “Diversity Visa Lottery Programme” for foreigners of different nationalities, which Trump has said he hopes to scrap.

In the US, Saipov married his compatriot, Nozima Odilova. It follows from the documents on the Ohio Court website (summitohioprobate.com) that the marriage was registered on 12 April 2013. His wife is six years younger than Saipov, he was 25 at the time of the marriage, she was 19. Tashkent is indicated in court records as the native city of Odilova and Saipov. The documents also include the names of the parents of the suspect - Khabibula Saipov, the father, and Mukaddas Irgashova, the mother, and Abdujalit Adilov, his wife's father, and Nodira Agzomova, the mother of Nozima.

According to the Republic edition, Saipov lived in Kyrgyzstan for some time, before leaving for the US. The publication refers to the activists of the Conflict Intelligence Team, a group of volunteers who study military conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, who discovered his Facebook accounts. Saipov, according to their information, had two profiles: the first he used until March 2011, while the last record he made in the second profile in late February 2013.

In total, Saipov's friends had 23 people. One of them confirmed to the Republic that Saipov lived for some time in Osh.

After coming to the US, the terror suspect changed his residence several times - as he lived in Ohio for a while, and later moved to Florida. According to Newsday, at the time of the attack Saipov lived with his wife and three children in a flat in Paterson, New Jersey.

In the courtyard of the block of flats in Tashkent, where Saifullo Saipov lived. Photo © Ferghana News

As it was reported, on the afternoon of 31 October, 29-year-old Saipov, who was driving a rented truck, drove at a high speed onto a bicycle path, continuing for several blocks, crushing random passers-by and bicyclists. As a result of this attack, eight people were killed and 15 injured. After the truck crashed into a school bus, in which several people were injured inside the bus, the attacker departed the driver's cabin, while holding what appeared to be weapons. Later, it was determined that the weapons were a paintball gun and a pneumatic gun.

The police fired on the suspect, wounding him in the abdomen, and he was hospitalised in critical condition.

As CNN reports, Saipov left a note in the truck saying his actions were carried out in the name of "the Islamic State." According to The New York Times, Saipov had previously come to the attention of federal authorities in connection with an investigation not related to the terrorist act. However, it is not clear in what capacity he was on the case - whether he was a suspect himself or was a member of the circle of acquaintances and relatives of suspects.

Over the past two years in the US, charges have been brought against five Uzbek and one Kazakh national who financially supported the terrorist Islamic State (as IS, ISIL or Daesh is banned in Russia as a terrorist organisation). It is still unknown whether there is a connection between Saipov and these people.

Fergana News Agency