World

New York attack suspect had history of traffic violations

NEW YORK The man accused of killing eight people by ramming a pickup truck into a crowd in New York City on Tuesday may have worked as a driver and lived in New Jersey after leaving Uzbekistan seven years ago, according to the authorities and media reports.

A source familiar with the investigation identified him as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, and said he is not a US citizen, Reuters reported.

He was shot by a police officer while attempting to flee minutes after the attack and was whisked away to a hospital, where he is recovering from an abdominal wound.

"A depraved coward is what he is, and he was associated with ISIS, and he was radicalised domestically," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in an interview with CNN.

According to media outlets, the suspect shouted "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is greatest" - after leaping from his truck, which had crashed into a school bus.

An Uzbek immigrant who met Saipov in Florida years ago told The New York Times that Saipov worked as a truck driver there but began driving for Uber when he moved to New Jersey.

'GOOD PERSON'

"He was a good person when I knew him," said Mr Kobiljon Matkarov.

"He liked the US. He seemed lucky, and all the time he was happy and talking like everything is okay. He did not seem like a terrorist, but I did not know him from the inside."

Saipov was an Uber driver after passing the background check, but he has since been banned from the app, a spokesman for the company said.

The Times reported that Saipov had rented the truck used in the attack.

He has a history of traffic violations, according to media reports and court records. He was stopped in Pennsylvania for pulling a truck trailer that was longer than permitted by law and "operating unsafe equipment", as well as driving with the wrong licence.

He paid his fine by mail and did not have to appear in court.

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