tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC November 1, 2017 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
tonight, breaking news. our exclusive interview. the police commissioner taking us to the crime scene, just moments ago. the deadliest terror attack here in new york city since 9/11. the suspect accused of killing at least eight people with a pickup truck. he rented it just an hour before. >> oh, my god. >> new images tonight. the school bus he collided with. the suspect's handwritten note now discovered. tonight, our one-on-one with the commissioner. did the suspect act alone? and how do they protect new yorkers and tourists against vehicles used as weapons? the victims. five friends killed, gathering for their 30-year reunion. the mother of two visiting new york. and the patient now a double amputee. and brian ross tonight with new reporting. the suspect allegedly planning his attack for weeks.
actually visiting the path. the fbi swarming his home. also tonight, the tense standoff at an elementary school. the father taking a 70-year-old teacher hostage. and the heated debate on capitol hill today. if you doubt russian meddling, what our own dan harris discovered in russia. what happens when he walks into this factory filled with writers. good evening tonight from new york city. we are here on the scene of the deadliest terror attack in this city since 9/11. and to give you an idea of where we're standing tonight, take a look over my shoulder here. we are in the shadow of 1 world trade. that, of course, was built on the site of ground zero. gives you an idea of just how far the suspect got and how close to ground zero he came. and just moments ago here, the police commissioner taking us to the crime scene. the weapon, of course, a truck, rented from home depot. authorities say the suspect deliberately veering onto a path
for bicyclists and pedestrians, speeding down the path. the commissioner telling me, striking people for almost a mile. it lasted four minutes. the truck not stopping until it smash into a school bus. along that path, eight people killed, including a mother visiting new york. and five friends here for that high school reunion. the suspect running from the truck, a hero officer shooting him. tonight, we now know the suspect, who lived in several american cities, authorities say he carefully planned this attack for halloween. and the letter tonight discovered inside the truck. we begin here with abc's gio benitez right here on the scene. >> reporter: tonight, inside that horror following that deadly truck attack. a mangled school bus brought to a standstill in the middle of the road. >> can you call 911? i've got -- oh my god! oh my god! okay. i need an ambulance right here. right here. the guy t-boned -- there's kids right there. >> reporter: firemen and police
rush in. >> she okay, man? >> reporter: working frantically to get to the children inside, just moments after 29-year-old sayfullo saipov crashed into it, authorities say saipov had been planning the rampage for weeks, conducting prior reconnaissance of the very spot where he would drive onto the jogging path. then on the afternoon of halloween, just after 2:00 p.m., renting a large truck at this home depot in passaic, new jersey. at 2:43 p.m., license plate readers that record every vehicle on the george washington bridge show him exiting the bridge into new york city. minutes later, of the holland tunnel show the truck swerving into the bike lane and mowing down pedestrians for nearly 20 blocks, almost a full mile. >> we've got multiple casuals. this is a mass casualty situation here. >> reporter: panicked witnesses saying there's a man waving a gun in the streets. reportedly yelling in arabic, "allahu akbar."
police officers on a separate call race to the scene. they cisse pov waving what we now know is a paintball gun and pellet gun. one officer, shooting saipov in the abdomen. >> one of those officers, ryan nash, takes action and fires his service weapon, bringing the attack to an end. >> reporter: the suspect now on the ground, depain tained in the of the attack, crumbled bicycles. some trying to help the injured. the engine from that truck that caused so much destruction still smoking. inside the truck, officers finding knives, more fake pistols and a note saying isis will endure forever. nine people are recovered in the hospital. one patient, a double amputee. all four patients with critical injuries are now stable. authorities identifying the eight victims who did not survive. 32-year-old darren drake from new jersey, his father describing him also the perfect son. >> i'm not angry, i'm absolutely hurt. >> reporter: and nicholas
cleves, a 23-year-old software engineer who had just graduated from college. five friends from argentina visiting new york to celebrate their 30th anniversary of their high school graduation, also lost their lives. and a mother of two from belgium, her younger son just 3 months old. >> and gio benitez joins us live in lower manhattan. just moments ago in criminal charges filed against the driver, and now you've learned that in addition to that bike path, the suspect hoped for another target afterward? >> reporter: that's right, david. he's now facing federal terrorism charges. if he hadn't crashed, investigators say he was set to target the brooklyn bridge. david? >> gio benitez leading us off tonight. gio, thank you. this evening, we have new reporting here on just how long the suspect was planning this attack. his reconnaissance. and as you heard, actually visiting the path. was he radicalized after he came to the u.s.? tonight, what he revealed from his hospital bed, and how many others did he help get here? here's abc's chief investigative
correspondent brian robert toss. >> reporter: federal agents and evidence technicians in protective booties swarmed the suspect's home in paterson, new jersey, as his wife, nozima, his three children and others were escorted from the resident by the fbi. tonight, authorities tonight say it is clear sayfullo saipov had been meticulously planning his attack, even renting a truck for dry run. >> he appears to have followed, almost exactly to a "t" the instructions that isis has put out in its social media channels. >> reporter: federal officials say saipov made a full confession from his hospital bed, even after being read his rights, that he was proud of what he had done, and even asked that an isis flag be hung from his room. and, they say, he specifically planned his attack for halloween, knowing the streets would be crowded. >> this is the biggest threat we face right now in this country, is individuals who, while in the united states, have become r radicalized. >> reporter: the 29-year-old
immigrant moved around the u.s., from tampa to cincinnati to cleveland to new jersey. working as a uber driver and a professional truck driver. saipov grew up in tashkent, uzbekistan, living in this apartment building, and in 2010 came to america as part of what's called the u.s. diversity immigrant visa program, for citizens of countries who have not sent many immigrants to the u.s. today, president trump revealed saipov had helped bring many other uzbeks to the u.s. >> he was the point of contact, the primary point of contact for, and this is preliminarily, 23 people that came in or potentially came in with him. and that's not acceptable. >> reporter: u.s. officials tell abc news tonight that at least two of those 23 connected to saipov were suspected of possible terror ties. federal agents interviewed saipov about those two men in 2015, but that no case against him was ever opened. >> brian ross joins us live tonight. and brian, you are learning that
the alleged attacker told police that he became radicalized in just the last year? >> reporter: yes, david. authorities found thousands of isis images and more than 90 propaganda videos on his cell phones. david? >> brian ross back with us tonight. brian, thank you. you can, of course, see the police present right here over my shoulder. that's the intersection where the school bus collided with the pickup truck barrelling down that path. and new york's police commissioner, james o'neill, took me to the crime scene just a short time ago. and we begin with one of the biggest concerns right here in new york. is the suspect a lone wolf, or did he have help? are you concerned that the suspect wasn't acting alone? >> that's always a concern, whenever there's a terrorist event, that's part of the -- that's a major part of the investigation, to make sure t t that, even though he's here alone, who supported him. >> reporter: is there a chance he had help in the u.s.? >> don't know. that's part of the investigation. >> reporter: commissioner, i know this was a major concern for law enforcement, that there would come a time that someone
would use a vehicle as a weapon. how do you protect people against that? >> it's difficult. it's a free and open society. but we do it by being able to effectively investigate. we do it by having uniformed presence throughout new york city. you go to times square, any of the major hubs, there's, you know, tens, dozens, maybe hundreds of cops. >> reporter: was he on your radar? >> he's -- he might have been connected to some people that we were looking at. >> reporter: is there any fear that he was overlooked? >> again, that's part of what we're going to look at. to make sure it didn't happen. >> reporter: commissioner, this is the bike path right behind that you he came barrelling down? >> sure is. >> reporter: how many blocks did this guy barrel down this bike path? >> he came in at huston street around four minutes after three. he ended up down here at eight minutes after three. it's about eight-tenths of a mile. from chamber street up to huston street. >> reporter: then the commissioner shows us where the school bus turned off the highway, and right into the path
of that pickup truck. the bus was coming down the highway and turning right here. >> turning right here and the pickup truck was coming down the bike path. right where you see it. >> reporter: and the bus actually spun the pickup this way? >> yeah. >> reporter: commissioner, we learned about that note in the truck left behind, isis would endure forever. are you fearful of more isis-inspired attacks here in your city? >> this is part of our job. it used to be it was about traditional crime. now, it's about fighting terrorism this is what we do every day. >> reporter: how would you describe the suspect who ended his rampage right here? >> a deranged individual, and part of the investigation is going to see if there was a connection to anyone else here. i mean, just -- look at what he did yesterday. and look at who he attacked. you know, this was a cowardly act. >> reporter: tonight, you can't say for sure that he was acting alone? >> again, david, that's part of the investigation. >> reporter: commissioner, thank you. >> any time. thank you. >> new york city's police commissioner with us just
moments ago. president trump, meanwhile, facing the first isis-related terror attack of his presidency. within hours, tweeting about extreme vetting. today, he called the suspect an animal, who he would consider sending to guantanamo. and he took political aim after this attack, as well. here's abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl tonight. >> reporter: at a cabinet meeting today, president trump declared that america must get tougher, calling the way the u.s. justice system deals with terrorists a joke. >> so, we have to come up with punishment that's far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now. because what we have right now is a joke, and it's a laughing stock. >> reporter: in stark contrast to his response to the shooting in las vegas last month, when the white house for days said it was inappropriate to talk about politics or policy, within hours of the new york attack, the president unloaded in a series of political tweets. "i have just ordered homeland security to step up our already extreme vetting program.
being politically correct is fine, but not for this!" and at the break of dawn this morning, he launched into an attack against new york's own senator chuck shoer, tweeting, "the trust came into our country through what is called the diversity visa lottery program, a chuck schumer beauty." today, the white house insisted the president wasn't politicizing the tragedy. >> the president has not blamed senator schumer and doesn't believe the senator is responsible for the attack. we believe very strongly the individual carried out the attack is responsible and no one else. >> reporter: the diversity visa program, which was supported by senator schumer and signed into law by president george h.w. bush, sevens millions of applicants every year, and provides visas to about 50,000 people. all of whom get background checks. >> diversity lottery. sounds nice. it's not nice. it's not good. so, we want to immediately work with congress on the diversity lottery program on terminating it, getting rid of it.
>> live tonight from the white house, and jon, we heard the president criticize the justice process, as well, in all of this, for the terrorist suspects. and today, he even said he would consider sending the alleged new york attacker to guantanamo bay. can he do that? >> reporter: technically, he can do it, but any move to send the alleged attacker to guantanamo bay would certainly face a constitutional challenge. no one ever arrested on american soil has been sent to gitmo, david. it's never happened. >> jon karl, live at the white house tonight. jon, thank you. we turn next here to the russia investigation on capitol hill, attorneys for facebook, google and twitter facing tough questions today about the russians using their platforms to get to american voters. and tonight, facebook, once again, upping the number of people who saw that russian linked content during the election, to 150 million americans, including their instagram platform. lawmakers blasting all three companies for not doing more to stop it. and if you ever had any doubts about russian meddling, their efforts to influence americans,
tonight, dan harris and what he discovered inside a nondescript building in st. peters burg. it is safe to say, they were not happy to see him. >> reporter: i'm from abc news in the united states. we're in st. petersburg, russia, trying to get inside a building known as the troll factory. okay, okay. easy, easy. here, we're told dozens of internet trolls are hard at work, trying to exploit america's divisions. security guards push us out, threatening to call the police. not far away, we immediate lyudmila savchuk, a journalist who went undercover in 2015, working in the troll factory for about $700 a month. what was your job when you were working there? what did you do all day? she tells me she would invent fictional characters and then post under their names, with topics carefully selected by her bosses. she says she and some of her fellow ex-trolls shot these undercover videos inside the building, showing tight security
and rows of trolls, typing away. this man, alan beskaev, told an independent, liberal russian tv station he worked in the unit that specifically targeted america. one minute, he said, you needed to be a red neck from kentucky, and then later, you had to be some kind of white dude from minnesota. and then, in 15 minutes, you need to be from new york, writing something in black slang. tonight, lawmakers releasing several of the thousands of ads bought by russian trolls. just look at this tweet from during the election falsely telling fans of hillary clinton they can avoid the line and vote from home. the trolls even using an image of comedian aziz ansari. no wonder they didn't want to let us in to see their work. >> and dan harris with us tonight. dan, you're also learning that these russian trolls went to extraordinary lengths to learn about america? >> reporter: that's right, david. one ex-troll tells us some of his colleagues actually traveled here to the u.s. in order to better understand our culture.
another telling us the bosses made all of the trolls watch the netflix show "house of cards." >> "house of cards." dan harris, i know you are going to stay on this for us and "nightline." thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the elementary school takedown. the parent taking a 70-year-old teacher hostage. the standoff lasting hours. police surrounding the school. and you're going to learn why negotiators decided it was time to move in. the american family of four missing tonight in brazil. and authorities with now information coming in. and the new headline this evening abdus tin hoffman. the allegation from more than 30 years ago, and his response tonight. much more news ahead. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,... ...isn't it time to let the real you shine through? maybe it's time for otezla (apremilast). otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months,... ...with reduced redness,... ...thickness, and scaliness of plaques.
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>> although i feel that we were just doing our job, like thousands of officers do every day, i understand the importance of yesterday's events and the role we played and i'm grateful for the recognition. >> reporter: recognition for what he did, after police say that suspect emerged from that smoking pickup truck, holding what appeared to be two weapons, waving them as he weaves in and out of traffic. officer nash was on the scene because of a call just 30 minutes earlier to a school right nearby. he fired when the suspect would not drop those fake weapons. today, the commissioner telling me he and his partner acted with bravery. >> once again, nypd stepped up and stopped this immediately. >> reporter: they absolutely did. he doesn't consider himself a hero, though. >> no. >> answering the call. and we thank you for watching here on a wednesday night. i'm david muir. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow.
gone! i need an ambulance right here! the guy t-boned -- right there! >> a scary moment after a terrorist rammed into a school bus in new york city yesterday and then continued on his path of destruction, driving down a bike path. >> the man accused just appeared in court in a wheelchair. sayfullo saipov was consumed by hate when he drove into people a bike path yesterday. the fbi had been looking for a second uzbek uzbek uzbek uzbek k question, the attack. >> five men from argentina and a
woman from argentina were the victims. >> today many parents are left reliving a nightmare. their children on their way home on halloween became the target of an act of terror. authorities now saying this act was planned in advance and believe the suspect, 29-year-old sayfullo saipov, was inspired by isis propaganda online to rent a home depot truck and purposely barrel down a bike path for three quarters of a mile. >> we have multiple casualties. >> killing at least eight and leaving behind a note. hand written in arabic. seeming to praise the islamic state. >> he appears to have followed almost to a t the sfrukss isis put out in its social media channels. >> investigators say he was interviewed in 2015 by federal counterterrorism agents who were looking io