The perpetrator of the deadliest terrorist attack in New York since the 9/11 attacks in September 2001 came from the same city as the St. Petersburg metro bomber, the online news website Republic.ru reported Wednesday.
Uzbek-born Sayfullo Saipov, 29, is believed to have driven a pickup truck into a Lower Manhattan bike lane on Tuesday, killing eight people, injuring at least 11 more. Uzbekistan has vowed to assist the U.S. in investigating the New York attack.
Republic.ru reported on Wednesday that the Saipov had lived in Osh, a city in the neighboring Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. He fled ethnic violence in 2010, settling in the U.S. on a green card.
Osh is the native city of Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, the suicide bomber responsible for the April St. Petersburg metro attack that killed 14 passengers. Dzhalilov was recruited by another Uzbek native of Osh, which had reportedly sent dozens of fighters to the Islamic State in Syria.
Russia’s independent investigators at the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) have uncovered Saipov’s abandoned social media profile that shows nearly all his friends were based in Osh.
Saipov may have been recruited as part of a network of radicalized ethnic Uzbeks in Osh, CIT’s lead investigator told Russia’s independent broadcaster Dozhd TV.
Kyrgyzstan's ambassador to the USA and Canada on Wednesday wrote on Twitter that Kyrgyz security services claimed the attacker had never visited Kyrgyzstan.