City Begins Installing Barriers On West Side Bike Path After Terror Attack
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — City officials announced Thursday that new bollards are being installed along the West Side bike path to prevent cars from entering – two days after a vehicular terror attack on the path left eight people dead.
The Mayor's office announced that the West Side path will get blockers to prevent cars and allow cyclists and pedestrians at 57 intersections from 59th Street south to the Battery.
Thirty-one of them are vehicle access intersections and 26 are pedestrian access intersections, officials said.
The State Department of Transportation will handle the vehicle intersections with six barriers at each, while the city will treat the pedestrian intersections – which face the Hudson River – with two concrete cubes at each.
The installations began on Thursday.
"I think the right thing to do when something like this happens is have a quick response to make sure people feel safe," said Scott Lawin of Hudson River Park Friends.
As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, cops were riding motor bikes, pedaling on bicycle patrol, and walking the Hudson River path by foot.
The increased police presence was intended to reassure a city still shaken after a frightening attack.
"I'm happy the police are doing their jobs. I think this is a great city, a safe city, and a great place to ride a bicycle," Nigel Savage said.
On Wednesday, federal prosecutors brought terrorism charges Wednesday against the Uzbek immigrant accused in the the terror attack on the path in Lower Manhattan that left eight people dead and 12 others hurt.
Even as he lay wounded in the hospital from police gunfire, Sayfullo Saipov asked to display the Islamic State group's flag in his room and said "he felt good about what he had done," prosecutors said in court papers.
Saipov was shackled and in a wheelchair in front of a federal judge Wednesday night to face charges that include providing material support to a terrorist group.
He nodded his head repeatedly as he was read his rights in a brief court proceeding that he followed through a Russian interpreter. He was ordered held without bail.
U.S. Attorney Joon Kim called Saipov "a man consumed by hate and a twisted ideology" who "attacked our country and our city."
Outside court, his appointed lawyer, David Patton, said he hoped "everyone lets the judicial process play out."
"I promise you that how we treat Mr. Saipov in this judicial process will say a lot more about us than it will say about him," Patton said.
Cellphone video released Thursday shows the moment after Saipov was captured by the NYPD on Halloween. Authorities have been poring through Saipov's two cellphones found at the scene -- with a law enforcement source telling CBS News they tracked numbers on one of the phones.
They have linked the numbers to sympathizers of a radical cause who were already on New York police radar. The source said Saipov made calls to some of those numbers the day of the attack.
A photo also released Thursday shows Saipov at the Home Depot in Passaic, New Jersey where investigators say he rented the pick up truck used in the attack, CBS2's Janelle Burrell reported.
Questioned in his hospital bed, Saipov said he had been inspired by ISIS videos and began plotting an attack about a year ago, deciding to use a truck about two months ago, FBI agent Amber Tyree said in court papers.
During the last few weeks, Saipov, who lived in Paterson, New Jersey with his wife and children, searched the internet for information on Halloween in New York City and for truck rentals, the agent said.
Saipov even rented a truck on Oct. 22 to practice making turns, and he initially hoped to get from the bike path across Lower Manhattan to hit more pedestrians on the Brooklyn Bridge, Tyree said.
He even considered displaying ISIS flags on the truck during the attack but decided it would draw too much attention, authorities said.
It was just after 3 p.m. Tuesday that investigators say Saipov used a Home Depot rental truck to plow into the bicyclists and pedestrians along the path for an entire mile before crashing into a school bus.
"He appears to have followed, almost exactly to a 'T,' the instructions that ISIS has put out in its social media channels before with instructions to their followers on how to carry out such an attack," said John Miller, deputy NYPD commissioner for intelligence.
Saipov was eventually shot by NYPD Officer Ryan Nash after he jumped out of the vehicle brandishing two air guns and yelling "God is great!" in Arabic, authorities said.
Saipov left behind knives and a note, in Arabic and English, that included Islamic religious references and said, "Islamic Supplication. It will endure," Tyree said. "It will endure" commonly refers to ISIS, Tyree said.
The FBI released a poster saying it was looking for one of Saipov's associates, Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, only to announce less than 90 minutes later that it had found him.
Miller said Thursday on "CBS This Morning'' that Saipov is the only suspect, but that could change.
Authorities have been talking to everyone in Saipov's family and social circle trying to understand.
"Is this inspired? He just got all this off the internet? Was it enabled/ Was he actually communicating with ISIS officials over encrypted channels? Or was it directed? Was it part of a plan?" Miller said.
Late Wednesday night, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to say that Saipov should get the death penalty.
"NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!"
The president took to Twitter again Thursday morning, saying he would "love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system."
"There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed," he said in another tweet. "Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!"
But Mayor Bill de Blasio said he doesn't believe the suspect should be executed.
"I strongly oppose the death penalty," he said. "I think he should rot for the rest of his life in jail."
Trump also has called for eliminating the 1990s visa lottery program that Saipov used to come to the U.S. in 2010.
The attack killed five people from Argentina, one from Belgium and two Americans, authorities said. Twelve people were injured.
Meanwhile, de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña were outside of Stuyvesant High School Thursday just after speaking with students.
Many are still shaken by the tragedy that happened steps from their classrooms. The students were put into a shelter in place alert.
"They could immediately tell was not a drill," the mayor said. "They just went and got to safety."
One student, a 16-year-old boy, was injured on the bus that the suspect's truck crashed into. He was back in school the next day because Farina said he was "working on a 100 percent perfect attendance."
The student recounted to the mayor and schools chancellor the frantic moments while waiting for emergency responders to reach them.
City leaders vowed New York would not be intimidated and have said Sunday's New York City Marathon would go on as scheduled, with increased security.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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