New York City, New York — Breaking news out of New York City, as an unknown assailant in a Home Depot rental truck drove into a bike lane near the Stuyvesant High School in Lower Manhattan. The driver struck several cyclists and slammed his truck into a parked vehicle; he exited and began firing indiscriminately into onlookers on shooting upwards of five people. The FBI currently have a suspect in custody.
Reports currently tell us that two people have died with close to 12 injured. New York Fire and Police departments were called in regards to a mass casualty incident in Lower Manhattan near the Freedom Tower at or around 3 p.m. Currently New York Police Emergency Response Teams along with a cadre of other police officers are cordoning off the site and have begun assisting New York emergency medical teams in evacuating the injured to nearby hospitals.
Witnesses describe what sounded like “loud thuds,” then a lone gunman exited the vehicle and began shouting incoherently and opened fire. The modus operandi of this attack is indicative of that of the Islamic State’s call for lone wolves to use large trucks or vehicles to plow into pedestrians and cause maximum carnage.
The outline of this lone wolf attack was published in the Islamic State’s online English language propaganda magazine in early 2016, in which the article titled “The Human Lawnmower” was written. This describes where potential lone wolves were given instructions on how to use large vehicles to kill and maim westerners with the additional decree of carrying a weapon such as a knife or gun to “finish off the kafirs” or non-believers.
This is currently a fluid situation–the motive isn’t clear, and no known terrorist organization has yet to claim what is shaping up to be a lone wolf attack. However, New York Police along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation also reported earlier this month that they raided and arrested several men in connection with being involved with an Islamic State “terrorist sleeper cell” who were attempting to execute the “next 9/11.”
Currently the FBI Joint Counter Terrorism Task Force is now on the scene and have reportedly taken a suspect into custody, though the death toll is sadly expected to increase in this latest tragic event in New York.
SOFREP will continue to track this story and update as more information comes in.
Feature image courtesy of: Twitter.