"This was an act of terror, particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians".
The official, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Saipov was lucid after surgery for wounds suffered when he was shot by police.
"He did make a statement when he exited the vehicle and if you just look at the [modus operandi] of the attack. that's consistent with what's been going on".
"He jumped out of the truck with a pellet gun, yelled, 'Allahu Akbar, ' and the First Precinct lit him up", a law enforcement official said.
Isil has been encouraging its followers to mow down people, and England, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks in recent months and years.
Mr Duffy, who was on his way home after a shift working as a chef at a restaurant by the Hudson River, said it quickly dawned on him that it could be nothing other than a deliberate attack.
The group has previously called for attackers to use vehicles as weapons.
President Donald Trump railed against the Islamic State on Twitter and declared "Enough!" and "NOT IN THE U.S.A.!"
While details were preliminary and the investigation still underway, the mayor said the suspect appeared to have been a lone wolf and not part of a wider plot. "I saw a lot of blood over there".
Police were unable to confirm if there were any injuries, but local media reported at least five, including possible fatalities.
Video footage of the scene showed a handful of Citibikes - rented bicycles popular with tourists and commuters - lying mangled on the ground.
"New York is an worldwide symbol of freedom and democracy", Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, adding, "that also makes us a target". An eyewitness named John Williams said: "When I was walking down the street towards the incident, I saw a group of women and children were running towards me, one of them was saying 'he has a gun, he has a gun.' I turned around and heard the gunshot about 30 seconds later".
Belgium said one of its nationals was among the victims.
"People were screaming. Females were screaming at the top of their lungs".
Tuesday's attack came five months after a US Navy veteran plowed a vehicle into pedestrians in Times Square, killing an 18-year-old woman from MI and injuring 22 other people on May 18 in what de Blasio said was not an act of terror.
On July 14, 2016, a suspect drove a large truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing 86 people and injuring hundreds more in an attack for which Isil claimed responsibility.
Then in June three terrorists killed eight people after driving a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before attacking nearby revellers.
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