F.B.I. Interviews Acquaintance of Man Charged in Manhattan Attack


The F.B.I. declined to touch upon the interview with Mr. Kadirov.

Some particulars concerning the pair’s friendship and Mr. Kadirov’s account to the F.B.I. emerged on Friday. (He spells his first title Mokhammadzokir, and never Mukhammadzoir, because the authorities initially rendered it.)

The pair met in Florida, the place Mr. Kadirov moved after arriving within the United States in 2014. The individual with information of the interview stated they didn’t know one another nicely on the time. Neighbors within the condo complicated the place Mr. Kadirov lived along with his household in Tampa stated they usually noticed Mr. Kadirov and Mr. Saipov collectively there and at a close-by mosque.


Mokhammadzokir Kadirov

Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

They turned nearer after each moved to New Jersey, the individual stated. They drove for Uber, although Mr. Kadirov additionally labored odd jobs: as a gross sales supervisor at a flooring firm and for a automotive firm.

Mr. Kadirov observed Mr. Saipov rising increasingly more short-tempered and agitated, the individual stated, even combating with prospects and other people on the highway.

Mr. Kadirov gave his pal books on Islam and urged him to hearken to the teachings of Uzbek spiritual leaders. But Mr. Saipov “didn’t seem interested,” the individual stated, and requested questions that Mr. Kadirov felt confirmed an ignorance of Islam.

Rather, Mr. Saipov appeared extra dedicated to probably the most conservative outward observances of the faith. He wore his beard lengthy and wild, in a method uncommon amongst Uzbeks. And neighbors and badociates stated Mr. Saipov’s spouse wore a niqab as a part of a full-body overlaying that left solely her eyes uncovered. In Uzbekistan, such conservative clothes is almost unheard-of.

In latest months, Mr. Saipov started speaking about the potential of transferring again to Uzbekistan, the individual stated. Money was tight, Mr. Saipov informed individuals, and the long-haul trucking enterprise that had supported him since he arrived within the United States in 2010 was now not as profitable. He offered his truck and started taking odd jobs, in addition to driving for Uber.

Mr. Saipov’s plan, the individual stated, was to attend till his spouse obtained American citizenship after which transfer again to Uzbekistan, the place they’re each from.

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Why he veered so violently from that plan continues to be unclear.

Like Mr. Saipov, Mr. Kadirov obtained a inexperienced card by the variety visa program. Mr. Kadirov, who speaks Uzbek, Arabic, Russian and English, took courses in Islamic research and the Quran at Al-Azhar University in Cairo from 2005 to 2012, the individual stated. His father is a diplomat and his mom is a physician.

More just lately, he had been taking persevering with schooling courses in New Jersey.

In a separate improvement on Friday, John J. Miller, the New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, stated at a information convention that investigators have been combing Mr. Saipov’s cellphone data and web contacts. He stated investigators had interviewed witnesses who stated they’d seen Mr. Saipov within the weeks earlier than the badault with a rental truck just like the one used within the badault. Mr. Miller stated investigators had additionally canvbaded for video to attempt to corroborate these accounts.


Law enforcement officers leaving the Masjid Omar Mosque, which is subsequent to the condo the place Mr. Saipov lived in Paterson.

Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

As individuals gathered on Friday for prayers at a mosque close to the place Mr. Saipov lived in Paterson, N.J., some within the Muslim group there have been getting ready for a steep escalation in threats because the badault.

The Islamic Center of Pbadaic County stated it had obtained eight threatening cellphone calls on Wednesday and Thursday. Officials there notified the Paterson Police Department, which informed the middle it was investigating the threats.

“We haven’t seen anything of this magnitude,” stated a girl who labored for a number of years on the middle and declined to offer her title out of worry for her security.

Hasan Husein, an interpreter for the imam on the Masjid Omar Mosque in Paterson, which is subsequent to the condo the place Mr. Saipov lived, stated threatening callers contacted them this week, too. The mosque reported them to the police.

“Quite a few calls,” Mr. Husein stated after Friday’s afternoon prayer. “Bad words and, ‘Go back to your country.’”

At the mosque, the place attendance for afternoon prayers spilled into an out of doors plaza, Manny Simreen stated a number of individuals had pushed by this week and shouted insults, like “Get out of the country!”

Michael J. Whitaker, a spokesman for the F.B.I.’s regional workplace in Newark, stated that the bureau was investigating a number of threats in opposition to mosques.

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”We are conscious of a number of threats in opposition to the Muslim group in New Jersey and take each menace critically,” he stated. “We continue to urge the public to please remain vigilant and report any and all suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.”

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