A rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists in the United States of America’s financial capital New York City on Tuesday, killing at least eight people and injuring another 11.
The 29-year-old driver of the truck, which climbed onto a bicycle path in New York’s Manhattan and barrelled down the track for around a kilometer before coming to a halt, was arrested by the police after being shot non-fatally in the abdomen.
US media reported that the man had been identified as Sayfullo Saipov and that he shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is great) before he was taken down by a New York City Police officer.
While authorities termed it a suspected act of terrorism, there was no immediate information available regarding which terrorist group may be responsible for the truck attack. President Donald Trump, while condemning the “terrorist attack”, invoked the name of the global militant group Islamic State.
“We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!” Trump said in a series of tweets.
ISIS, on the other hand, remained mum and did not officially advance a claim of responsibility for the New York City attack.
However soon after the attack, pro-Islamic State groups on Telegram, an encrypted chat application preferred by the terrorist group and its supports, started voicing their joy at the deaths in New York, posting morbid photos and posters.
Journalists and private intelligence firms that cover terrorist groups shared a number of these posters on Twitter.
The following was shared by New York Times journalist Rukini Callimachi:
11. They are also making commemorative online posters, marking the occasion: pic.twitter.com/fxsFMUSr6l
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 31, 2017
— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) October 31, 2017
Rita Katz, the director of the SITE Intelligence Group, too tweeted about pro-ISIS channels erupting in joy after reports of the New York City attack came in.
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) October 31, 2017