The FBI named Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, a friend of New York City truck jihadi Sayfullo Saipov, as a person of interest on Wednesday and was quickly located without an arrest or any charges being filed.
On Thursday, he issued a statement to the Associated Press condemning Saipov’s attack.
The Associated Press reports Kadirov’s statement was delivered by “a source in touch with his family.” The portion quoted by the AP reads, “It is so sad and unbelievable. This not from our religion. It is not acceptable. We as Muslims completely reject this kind of actions. No human being who has a heart can do this.”
“Kadirov also quoted a passage from the Quran in his statement,” the Associated Press adds, without bothering to share that passage with readers, or indicating whether there are other parts of Kadirov’s statement that were not included in the report.
The anonymous intermediary who gave the statement to the Associated Press said Kadirov only knew Saipov from working together for Uber, and they are not “close friends.” The intermediary also said Kadirov notified an unspecified “community advocacy organization” when he realized Saipov was the truck terrorist, and this organization encouraged Kadirov to cooperate with the authorities.
The Associated Press adds an observation from a law enforcement official that Saipov “didn’t have many friends.”
CBS News reported on Wednesday that investigators became suspicious of Kadirov and flagged him as a person of interest on social media because he “went off the radar” when they tried to speak with him. They found him about 90 minutes later. The FBI has not yet elaborated on what information they gained from interviewing him.
NBC News 4 in New York quotes a curiously phrased comment from Assistant FBI Director Bill Sweeney after Kadirov was located. Sweeney said, “We have found him and we will leave it at that.” The Bureau had published a wanted poster for him earlier in the day and seems perhaps a little annoyed that he did not promptly respond to their requests for an interview. Various law enforcement statements indicate Kadirov is not a suspect in the case.
According to Heavy.com, records indicate Kadirov lived in both Tampa, Florida, as well as New Jersey, as did Saipov, but not at the same address. The FBI wanted poster identified Kadirov’s place of birth as Uzbekistan, so presumably they interacted with the same Uzbek communities in both states. Kadirov’s record trail is described as “very scant.”
The UK Daily Mail describes Kadirov as “the married father of two toddler-aged children.” Saipov, the attacker, is married with three children himself. Family members supported his claim to be “more of an acquaintance to Saipov than a friend.”
The Daily Mail quotes neighbors who said Kadirov “wore white robes every day and clashed with them over noise disturbances.”
“They were Muslims. He wore traditional clothes and he always dressed in white. I never saw him go out in the morning so I don’t know if he did anything,” a young neighbor said.