The principal suspect in the New York terror attack on Halloween had scores of traffic violations and was fired from his job for rudeness to customers, a report from ABC News revealed.
Having moved to the United States on a diversity visa lottery program in 2011, Saipov soon went to work for fellow Uzbek Mirrakhmat Muminov as a truck driver, who described him as an “aggressive man” who was always “swimming against the rules.”
“He was fired because of [a] customer quality issue,” Muminov told ABC. “Someone complained about him.”
Saipov faces two counts of providing material support to the Islamic State and the violence and destruction of motor vehicles after driving a pick-up truck through a Manhattan bicycle lane on Tuesday, killing eight and injuring over a dozen others.
During his time in the U.S., Saipov also racked up traffic violations, which included failing to keep his commercial driving log up to date, missing vital equipment, and the use of unsafe equipment.
Nevertheless, Saipov went on to work for the transportation company Uber, where he passed a background check and worked for six months, completing over 1,400 trips while he planned next move.
However, other people close to Saipov claim they saw no signs of an attitude problem in his youth, describing him as “very kind boy.”
“I don’t remember him being aggressive, or having a bad attitude with others. Overall, I remember him positive,” said his former classmate Makhina Kadirova. “Whatever happened, that happened after he moved to the USA. When I saw him on news, I couldn’t believe that it [was him.] I hardly recognized him.”
“He was happy that he was here, he had a family here, and he was a truck driver and his business was really good,” she added.
Yet following Tuesday’s attack, authorities claimed that he “felt good about what he had done” and even asked whether he could display the caliphate’s flag in his hospital room.
Authorities also found over 90 videos and 3,800 images of ISIS propaganda on his phone. He revealed he was inspired to join the caliphate after listening to videos of the deceased ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi asking “what Muslims in the United States and elsewhere were doing to respond to the killing of Muslims in Iraq.”