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Terror attack was planned for weeks, carried out in the name of ISIS, cops say

NEW YORK — A terror attack that killed eight people in lower Manhattan and injured a dozen others when a driver plowed a rented truck through pedestrians and bicyclists was planned weeks in advance and carried out in the name of ISIS, John Miller, deputy of NYPD counter-intelligence, said during a news conference Wednesday.

Miller was among several federal, state and local leaders who shared updates in the investigation. Among the latest developments are:

  • The death toll remains at eight — five from Argentina, one from Belgium and two from the U.S., FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro says. A total of 12 people were taken to hospitals and 9 remain hospitalized as of midday Wednesday. Four of those victims are in critical condition; the others are seriously injured
  • Injuries range from bilateral amputation to serious head, neck, back and chest trauma, as well as trauma to legs and arms, Nigro says
  • Commuters can expect to see “a lot more officers” on trains and platforms, and more bag checks at subway stations
  • This weekend’s New York City Marathon will “go on because New York goes on and it’s an important event for New Yorkers,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo says
  • With additional security and added sand trucks along the route, the marathon will be a “very safe event” for the 50,000 participants and some 2.5 million spectators, officials say
  • Federal investigators have been searching several locations and those searches are expected to continue. Evidence gathering at the scene likely will go on into the day on Wednesday and involves hundreds of detectives
  • Witnesses are urged to upload their videos and photos from the scene at this website: FBI.gov/NYCTRIBECA
  • Officials are waiting for an update on the condition of the suspect, who remains in the hospital and under arrest. He has been interviewed at the hospital, but officials could not go into specifics about that interview
  • It appears the suspect has been planning the attack for “a number of weeks,” John Miller, deputy commission of NYPD counter-intelligence, says
  • The suspect carried out the attack in the name of ISIS — notes found at the scene “further indicate that” — and followed “almost exactly to a T the instructions that ISIS has put out on its social media channels about how to carry about such an attack,” Miller says
  • Notes found in the suspect’s rented truck were written in Arabic, they consisted of “symbols and words” and a message to the effect of “the Islamic State would endure forever,” Miller says
  • NYPD Officer Ryan Nash, credited with shooting the suspect and stopping the violence from continuing, was with his partner at nearby Stuyvesant High School on an unrelated call when they were flagged down by a witness who said there’d been a crash
  • NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill says he spoke with Nash at the hospital and called him “the most humble guy you’ll ever meet.” He says Nash doesn’t consider his actions heroic
  • In the past, police have seen bias incidents, assaults and hate crimes against Muslims in the wake of similar attacks. Miller vowed that “anyone behind those would be prosecuted to the fulled extent of the law”
  • “This isn’t about Islam. It’s not about what mosque he attends – there are hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Muslims in NYC who are adversely affected by things like this,” Miller says