NYC Terror Suspect Saipov a 'Mother's Boy' Who Wanted to Come Home
In a paradox worthy of a Russian novel, it may have been Sayfullo Saipov’s good fortune that sent him spinning into a deadly trajectory as a terrorist on a lower Manhattan bike path.
Interviewed in the family home in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Mr. Saipov’s mother, Muqaddas Saipova, says her son, almost on a lark, entered a lottery to win a U.S. green card. At the time, the 22-year-old was a studious boy with a degree in accounting.
Unexpectedly, he won, and moved to the U.S. in 2010. By all accounts, he struggled to make his way in an unfamiliar land. It was on a visit last year to New Jersey when Ms. Saipova saw that her “mother’s boy” had turned unhappy and tired.
“I saw with my own eyes how much he was working, how hard it was for him,” Ms. Saipova said. Her son wanted to return to Uzbekistan and talked of saving money for the trip, she said. “He said, ‘I’ll save money, and we’ll build a new house,’ ” she recalled.
Mr. Saipov, 29 years old, now sits in a federal detention center in New York. Police say he killed eight people and injured at least a dozen others on Tuesday by driving a rented truck down a crowded Manhattan bike path. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors charged him with terrorism and intentionally killing and harming people. They say he was inspired by watching Islamic State videos on his phone.