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Who is Sayfullo Saipov?

  • Wayne Lee

Sayfullo Saipov, the suspect in the New York City truck attack, is seen in a handout photo released, Nov. 1, 2017, by St. Charles County Department of Corrections.

The suspect who carried out a deadly act of terror in New York City Tuesday has been identified by law enforcement sources as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old legal permanent resident originally from Uzbekistan, a predominantly Muslim central Asian country that was part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991.

Authorities said Saipov arrived in the United States in 2010 and lived in Ohio, Florida and New Jersey. Dilnoza Abdusamatova, 22, said Saipov spent his first two weeks in the U.S. living with her family in Symmes Township outside Cincinnati because their fathers were friends.

"He was really calm," Abdusamatova told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "He always used to work. He wouldn't go to parties or anything."

Saipov's father in Uzbekistan asked Rustam Iskhakov to allow Saipov son to live in his home while Saipov attempted to get his green card, said Abdusamatova, one of Iskhakov's children.

Public records from the Ohio Secretary of State show Saipov registered a business named SAYF MOTORS INC. in May 2011 at the family's address in Symmes Township, to the great surprise of the family.

Sayf Motors Inc. registration, public record, Ohio Secretary of State
Sayf Motors Inc. registration, public record, Ohio Secretary of State

In August 2013, Saipov registered a transportation company with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Bright Auto LLC, at the same Ohio address that was on his marriage certificate. Records show the company's license was involuntarily revoked more than a year later.

Saipov then relocated to Fort Myers, Florida, where he met fellow Uzbek national Kobiljon Matkarov and found work as a truck driver. Abdusamatova said her family believed Saipov got married sometime after arriving in the U.S. and may now have two children.

Abdusamatova told The Washington Post, "He stopped talking to us when he got married," except when he reportedly invited the family to his wedding.

The suspect lived in an apartment complex in Tampa, Florida, where investigators reportedly interviewed several area residents after the attack.

Saipov then relocated to New Jersey and eventually settled in Paterson, a city with a large Muslim population, where several conspirators of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks resided. Paterson is where he began driving for Uber after passing a background check, an Uber official said. Uber said the company did not identify any customer complaints about Saipov, although he has been removed from the company's app. The truck that was used in the attack was rented in Paterson, reports said.

Paterson is where Saipov, his wife Nozima Odilova, and their children lived most recently. The couple reportedly applied for a marriage license in Akron, Ohio in 2013. Like the suspect, his wife comes from Tashkent.

Sayfulla Saipov marriage certificate, public record, Ohio Secretary of State, partial image
Sayfulla Saipov marriage certificate, public record, Ohio Secretary of State, partial image

A law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Saipov arrived in the U.S. at Kennedy International Airport. Authorities said he was arrested in Missouri in 2015 on a traffic violation. Court records show Saipov pleaded guilty to a traffic violation two years ago in Pennsylvania and had another traffic-related charge withdrawn in that state in 2012.

An acquaintance of Saipov, Mirrakhmat Muminov, said the two met several years ago through a local Uzbek community in Ohio. Muminov, a truck driver and Uzbek community activist who now lives in Stow, Ohio, told Current Time TV Saipov had "unfriendly" disagreements with some community members, but Muminov saw no signs of radicalism.

"We didn't see [characteristics of] a terrorist in him," said Muminov, who described Saipov as "an aggressive young man" with "a romantic sense of adventure." Muminov noted Saipov "quarreled with a few people" but "there were no fights." Muminov said Saipov never attended the imam's weekly lectures at the local mosque and Muminov did not notice "any surge of radicalism" in Saipov during his time in Ohio.

WATCH: Saipov accquaintance on his interactions with community

Muminov said Saipov had financial and other problems and needed "lots of money...but couldn't find any" to repair his truck after leaving Florida. Muminov speculated that this, "too many [traffic] tickets" and the inability to get insurance, spelled the end of Saipov's truck driving career, resulting in "certain elements of depression in him."

New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John Miller told reporters Wednesday Saipov appeared to have been planning [the attack] for a number of weeks and said Saipov "did this in the name of ISIS."

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