Manhattan terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov never spoke, kept his head down, neighbor says

Sayfullo Saipov drove a pickup truck onto a bike path along the West Side Highway in lower Manhattan, resulting in eight deaths, officials said on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. Photo Credit: St. Charles County Department of Corrections; AFP / Getty Images / Don Emmert

Manhattan terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov, who attacked "in the name of ISIS," kept a low profile in Paterson, New Jersey, where he lived with his wife and three children, a neighbor said.

Moe Ali, 17, who lives about a block away from Saipov, said he's seen the Uzbekistan native on the street sometimes. Instead of greeting him with a hello, Ali said, Saipov would just keep going.

“He doesn’t say what’s up,” Ali said. “He’s not polite. Everybody out here, we all know each other. . . . He would just walk and put his head down. That’s not normal anywhere.”


Saipov, 29, drove a rental truck through a lower Manhattan bike path Tuesday at about 3 p.m., killing eight and injuring at least 12. He had gotten the truck at a Home Depot in in Passaic, New Jersey, just an hour before. 

After slamming into a small school bus near Chambers Street, he allegedly got out of the truck and shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” a law enforcement source said. 

He also left behind handwritten notes in Arabic that said, “The Islamic State would endure forever,” NYPD Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller said at a Wednesday news conference.

He was arraigned Wednesday on federal charges, including one count of providing support to a terror organization, according to a criminal complaint.

Saipov had been planning the attack for "a number of weeks" and appeared to follow ISIS instructions on social media “almost to a T,” the NYPD said.

Saipov came to the United States in 2010 and previously lived in Tampa, Florida, and the Cincinnati, Ohio-area.

He started a trucking company in Florida, according to The Washington Post. He also started two companies in Ohio: In 2013, he registered Bright Auto LLC, in Cuyahoga Falls with the state. In 2011, he started Sayf Motors Inc. in Cincinnati, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.


Saipov has driven for Uber for over six months, according to reports.

Neighbors in the quiet Temple Terrace, Florida, apartment complex where Saipov lived said Wednesday morning they were alarmed by reports that a suspected terrorist lived in their midst.

Tatiana Colarte, 19, who has lived at the Heritage at Tampa apartment complex for the past four years said she recalled little about Saipov, but said she believes he had a shorter beard when he lived in the cluster of two story brick apartments.

“The more I see his face on television I recognize him by his eyes . . . but, other than that this is a really quiet community so if he was here, he didn’t really talk to a lot of people,” Colarte said, standing on the balcony of her apartment that overlooks the back of the first story apartment Saipov is reported to have lived in, according to public records.

Colarte said she wasn’t sure when Saipov left the complex.

“It’s sad, neighbors are so secluded in their homes, that no one knows who one another is anymore,” Colarte said. “To think he could’ve been planning something all along right in front of us . . . it’s a scary feeling.”

A representative for the apartment complex said at the request of law enforcement officials he could not offer details about Saipov’s time living there.


In a written statement, the building’s management said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the individuals and families impacted. Based on our review of rental history for the property, the suspect in question was a former resident. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement to provide any information requested.”

Saipov, according to local media reports, attended the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay. On Wednesday morning, a representative of the mosque said she could not confirm he worshipped at the mosque located on a sprawling campus near the Heritage apartment complex.

The representative, standing at the entry of the mosque referred all questions to the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a nonprofit group that advocates on behalf of Muslim-Americans.

Aida R. Mackic, interfaith and youth program director for CAIR-Florida said the organization has not confirmed which Tampa area mosque Saipov may have attended but would “cooperate” with authorities.

“We absolutely condemn this attack,” Mackic said in a phone interview.

Dilnoza Abdusamatova, 24, an Ohio woman, told The Washington Post that Saipov — whose father was friends with hers — stayed with her family in Cincinnati for two weeks when he first arrived in the U.S.

“He was really calm,” Abdusamatova told “He always used to work. He wouldn’t go to parties or anything. He only used to come home and rest and leave and go back to work.”

Kobiljon Matkarov, an Ohio resident originally from Uzbekistan, told the Tampa Bay Times that he met Saipov several years ago.

Saipov persuaded Matkarov to become a truck driver, he told the paper, and he remembered Saipov as “very friendly.”

Saipov has been cited for traffic infractions in the past, according to public records, including when he was pulled over by police in Pennsylvania in 2015. He pleaded guilty to two traffic citations, but the penalty was unclear.

Saipov’s marriage license was issued on April 12, 2013, and lists his occupation as a truck driver, according to The license was filed in Summit County Probate Court says he lived at in an apartment on Americana Drive with his wife, Nozima Odilova, who was 19.

Their marriage was officiated at their apartment by someone named “Abdulloh,” according to the license.