Rukmini Callimachi ✔ @rcallimachi
Correspondent for The New York Times covering ISIS. NBC contributor. Previously, seven years in West Africa as Correspondent & Bureau Chief for The AP.
1. I just finished reading the criminal complaint filed against Sayfullo Saipov. He followed ISIS' instructions to the letter. Follow here:
2. This is a guy who appears to have 0 remorse. He requested an ISIS flag for his hospital room. Said he "felt good about what he's done"
3. He began plotting attack 1 yr ago after hearing speech by ISIS leader Baghdadi calling for Muslims in US to avenge killings in Iraq
4. I looked up the Baghdadi speech. It was exactly 1 year ago on Nov 2, 2016 that he released audio, as Coalition forces advanced on Mosul
5. Quote from the Baghdadi speech that caught my eye calls on "martyrdom-seekers" to create rivers of blood. @siteintelgroup's translation:
6. Complaint says that 2 months ago, attacker began pondering how to use a truck in order to "inflict maximum damage against civilians"
7. He rented truck on Halloween for a 2-hr window with no plans of returning it. He wanted to drape ISIS flag over truck, but decided not to
8. 10 days before the attack, he rented a truck at same facility to practice making turns. He chose Halloween bc of # of civilians in street
9. I find this timeline insane: At 2:06 pm on day of attack, he picks up truck, agreeing to a 75-min lease. He starts mowing ppl dow after 3
10. Everything up to now is in line with ISIS messaging: 1) Attack at home in retaliation for Iraq deaths 2) Use a truck 3) Target civilians
11. It's about to get way more specific. Pls read my penultimate thread explaining instructions in ISIS' magazine:
12. The terror group's magazine said to use a truck, drive until you cant, jump out & harm ppl with a secondary weapon. Also leave a note:
13. That's pretty much what this guy does. Over several blocks, he crushes people in the bike lane, then crashes into bus. Then he gets out.
14. Here's what else he had on him: A bag of knives. (The ISIS magazine says use a knife or a gun in secondary attack).