Acquaintances of New York City truck terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov expressed surprise and dismay at Uzbekistan-born Saipov’s alleged responsibility for Tuesday’s deadly truck attack. One, however, noted Saipov had “displayed ‘very radical views.'”
according to an earlier RFE/RL report, got his green card by claiming political asylum in the United States in 2006. He claimed familiarity with the community of Uzbek migrants in long-haul trucking and ride-share service driving, of which Saipov was a part. “When we [are] on the road, we call everyone,” he said.,
Another Ohio-based RFE/RL source, who declined to be named but is implied to have been part of that same Ohio Uzbek community, went further, saying Saipov displayed “very radical views” in a religious argument. “After that argument, he stopped contacting us,” the source told RFE’s Uzbek Service. “We warned him over his radical views.”
Another ethnic Uzbek acquaintance of Saipov’s, Kobiljon Matkarov, 37, had contact with the suspect in Florida, New Jersey, and presumably, Ohio, where he now lives. Matkarov, when he spoke to the New York Post, recalled no such warning signs. “He is very good guy, he is very friendly … he is like [a] little brother … he look[ed] at me like big brother,” he said, adding, when interviewed by the New York Times, that “He liked the U.S. He seemed very lucky, and all the time he was happy and talking like everything is O.K. He did not seem like a terrorist, but I did not know him from the inside.”
Dilnoza Abdusamatova lived at the address in suburban Cincinnati from which Saipov registered a business, Sayf Motors Inc., reported to have been a mere shell necessary to register long-haul trucking insurance. Abdusamatova’s parents allowed Saipov to stay with them for a few weeks in 2010, a year before he used their address for his business. Based on their brief time together, she was surprised by his alleged descent into terrorism when she spoke to Cincinnati.com.
“He was really calm,” Abdusamatova said. “He always used to work. He wouldn’t go to parties or anything. He only used to come home and rest and leave and go back to work.”
Dilnoza’s brother, Bekhzod Abdusamatov, now 22, had the same impression when he spoke to the New York Times. “My dad introduced him as, ‘He’s new to the United States, and he’s going to stay with us,’” he said.