ISIS: NYC attacker soldier of the caliphate

Until yesterday, ISIS had remained quiet following the deadly truck attack in Manhattan earlier this week, but now the terror group has celebrated the perpetrator–29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov–as a “soldier of the caliphate.”

Survival is failure

According to experts, ISIS has a history of not claiming attacks when the assailant survives and falls into police custody, as is the case with Saipov. The group never acknowledged its ties to Ahmad Khan Rahimi, for example, who last year planted bombs in New Jersey and Manhattan and was eventually arrested.

On Thursday night, however, in its newsletter, the group–while not claiming responsibility for the NYC attack that killed 8 people–praised the perpetrator and his actions. “One of the Islamic State soldiers in America attacked on Tuesday a number of crusaders on a street in New York City,” the group claimed.

No direct link

Police say there is no question that Saipov had been radicalized, but no definitive proof that he was in direct contact with ISIS or that his actions were guided by the group.

Evidence including communications on two cell phones Saipov was carrying as he plowed a rental truck into a busy bike lane in Manhattan indicated his devotion to ISIS, and he told authorities he was inspired by the group when plotting his attack.

He further went on to request an ISIS flag be displayed in his hospital room.