01 Nov 2017
Individuals are being encouraged by ISIS to use vehicles to carry out fatal acts, US prosecutors said on Wednesday, as Uzbek migrant Sayfullo Saipov was charged with providing material support to the terror group and causing the deaths of eight people.
Saipov appeared before the New York federal courthouse on Wednesday to face charges of using a truck to mow down people in the deadly New York terror attack.
A second man wanted in connection with the attack has been found.
Court papers filed show vehicles have become a recommended weapon of choice for terrorists.
According to a filing presented on Wednesday, a 2016 article appeared in ISIS’ official magazine Rumiyah that states: “Though being an essential part of modern life, very few comprehend the deadly and destructive capabilities of the motor vehicle and its capacity of reaping large numbers of casualties if used in a premeditated manner.”
It adds that: “In a bid to ensure maximum carnage upon enemies of Allah, it is imperative that one does not exit his vehicle during the attack, rather he should remain in his vehicle, driving over the already harvested kuffar, and begin crushing their bodies until it becomes physically impossible to continue by vehicle. At this stage one may exit the vehicle and finish his operation by foot, if he was able to obtain a secondary weapon.”
The truck Saipov allegedly used was rented from a New Jersey store which rents out vehicles for transporting people and cargo.
The truck was rented out at around 2:06 pm to a customer who identified himself as Sayfullo Saipov, the documents state – about an hour before the attack.
“Saipov was inspired to carry out the truck attack by ISIS videos he had watched on his cell phone … about nine days ago he had rented out a truck so that he could practice making turns with the truck in advance of his attack,” the court papers state.
Saipov is reported to have previously worked as an Uber driver, and passed a corporate background check.
According to NPR, Uber said it has not identified any security concerns from his time as an Uber driver.
UK takes action against van hire for terror
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies in the UK have stepped up their negotiations with the car rental industry in an effort to stop potential terrorists from hiring vans.
The new plans are currently confidential, but focus on joint efforts between industry and enforcement, a spokesman for the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association told KYC360.
The BVRLA is now involved in negotiations with government departments, including the counter terrorism police, he stated.
“It is about increased cooperation, there’s a big willingness on both sides to make it happen,” he said, “we are trying to get the police to visit our sites, talk to members, see if there other areas that can be tightened up.
“They want to help around the country, providing guidance. These incidents affect not just London but other parts of the country.”
– By Irene Madongo
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