Northeast Ohio learning more about NYC terror suspect’s ties to our area

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio - We're learning more about the New York terror suspect, Sayfullo Saipov and his ties to Northeast Ohio. Local Islamic leaders are condemning his actions, and says he sometimes worshipped at a mosque in Cuyahoga Falls.

"He was a little aggressive, young man a little, the world he was living, he not even attend this mosque many times," said Mirrakhmat Muminov, who knew Saipov during his time in Northeast Ohio.

Muminov says Saipov was a truck driver, who lived in Cuyahoga Falls, but left Ohio about two years ago. He says Saipov was not a religious person at the time, but sometimes prayed at the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent in Cuyahoga Falls.

"We just seen him once in a while, every two or three months, one time or two times, that's why I can't say he was a part of the community," said Muminov.

"Quiet, you would see him every once in a while, often, you know, at the mosque here among the congregation at the same time he did have his own difficult troubles," said mosque member Abdussamad Feyzullayev.

"Anytime there is a terrorist action anywhere, the first prayer we have 'Oh God,let it not be a Muslim,'" said Ihsan Haque, a board member with the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent.

Local Islamic leaders spoke to media Wednesday evening at the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent in Cuyahoga Falls. They say some members knew Saipov when they saw him in news reports about the terror attack.

"Two or three years ago when he was here, he did not have a beard, he had a very short scraggy beard, that's what I vaguely remember," said Haque.

Mosque leaders say they have been contacted by law enforcement and are doing whatever they can to cooperate with their investigation.

"They wanted to know do we know anybody who remembers him, what are the contacts, we said 'yes' if we know anybody we definitely will make them available to them," Haque said.

"Based on what we know is that he was here for a couple years, several years ago, I personally have no account of even knowing him," said Faheem Shaikh, president of the Islamic Society.

Mosque leaders also took the opportunity to condemn violence and embrace peace.

"It gives a bad perception towards Muslims and the faith of Islam," said the outreach director for the mosque.

**Continuing coverage, here**