Manhattan Truck Jihad Puts Radical Islam Spotlight on Uzbekistan

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
By Paul Martin

by FRANCES MARTEL
BreitBart.com
1 Nov 2017

New York authorities have reportedly identified the terrorist behind a truck attack leaving at least eight dead on Tuesday as Uzbek national Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov – the latest in a series of attackers to hail from the extremely repressed former Soviet nation.

Saipov, according to authorities, rented a Home Depot truck and targeted the area around a school in downtown Manhattan, driving through a bicycle lane in the wrong direction and hitting anyone in sight before crashing into a school bus. The man identified as Saipov then stepped out of the truck and, witnesses say, shouted “Allahu akbar,” the rallying cry of Sunni jihadists, while brandishing a paintball gun and a pellet gun before being shot and detained by police.

Sources tell media that Saipov is 29 and has been in the United States since 2010, but that he originally hails from Uzbekistan. It is not yet clear whether Saipov has ties to the Islamic State – which has published detailed instructions on how to execute this exact kind of attack – but ISIS fanatics on Twitter have already begun celebrating.

Saipov shares a native land with several jihadis recently active in the west. In April, a terrorist identified as a 39-year-old from Uzbekistan drove a truck into a crowd of people in Stockholm, Sweden, drove four people. On the New Year’s Eve preceding 2017, Abdulkadir Masharipov, an Islamic State terrorist from Uzbekistan, entered Istanbul’s Reina nightclub and shot into the crowd, killing 39 people.

Last year, Brooklyn police charged Azizjon Rakhmatov, another Uzbek national, with helping organize and fund the voyage of two other men to Turkey and then Syria and Iraq, where they would have joined the Islamic State. Police claimed Rakhmatov’s cell “had plans to join ISIS, kill President Obama and bomb Coney Island.”

Fazliddin Kurbanov of Uzbekistan was arrested in Idaho in 2015, ultimately convicted of attempting to build and detonate a bomb with the intention of committing an act of terrorism.

As a majority-Muslim country – 88 percent of the nation is Sunni Muslim – led for most of its existence by the dictator Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan may appear fertile ground for jihadist recruitment to terrorist groups. While there are no official estimates on the number of Uzbek nationals currently engaging in radical Islamic terrorism, the International Crisis Group suggests that most of the between 2,000 and 4,000 Central Asian nationals that have joined the global jihad are from Uzbekistan.

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