Brown: Vintage Fantastic Four still worth a read

Reader interest has dwindled so much, there currently is no regular Fantastic Four title, once the most popular of Marvel’s monthly offering.

So, if you want to experience the adventures of Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Human Torch and the Thing, you have to reach back into the vault.

That’s why I’m working my way though the whole FF back catalogue, albeit slowly.

The most recent collection I finished is Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 2, which collects issues 21 through 40 from the mid-1960s.

Marvel’s First Family battles such villains as the Frightful Four, Namor and Dr. Doom, and this book contains the first appearance of such characters as Medusa, which also currently can be seen on network television’s Inhumans series.

The first thing that jumped out at me is, of course, the gorgeous art by Jack Kirby.

This still was early days for Marvel as a purveyor of superhero books, so you can see with each issue how the King grew more confident.

The look of the Thing, for instance, has just about reached its modern rocky form in this volume.

The other thing that struck me is just how mechanical the writing was.

As creative as Stan Lee was in this period, there’s a lot of repetition of villains and plots.

Even though these issues are considered classic, it’s clear comic standards of plotting have changed in the decades since.

Still, this is one of the ways I can get my FF fix for the time being.

Certainly, the latest big-screen adaptation isn’t an option, so bring on Vol. 3. Excelsior!

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How Russian hackers pried into Hillary Clinton campaign emails

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WASHINGTON — It was just before noon in Moscow on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious messages hit the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The first 29 phishing emails were almost all misfires. Addressed to people who worked for Clinton during her first presidential run, the messages bounced back untouched.

Except one.

Within nine days, some of the campaign’s most consequential secrets would be in the hackers’ hands, part of a massive operation aimed at vacuuming up millions of messages from thousands of inboxes across the globe.

An Associated Press investigation into the digital break-ins that disrupted the U.S. presidential contest has sketched out an anatomy of the hack that led to months of damaging disclosures about the Democratic Party’s nominee. It wasn’t just a few aides that the hackers went after; it was an all-out blitz across the Democratic Party. They tried to compromise Clinton’s inner circle and more than 130 party employees, supporters and contractors.

While U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the email thefts, the AP drew on forensic data to report Thursday that the hackers known as Fancy Bear were closely aligned with the interests of the Russian government.

The AP’s reconstruction — based on a database of 19,000 malicious links recently shared by cybersecurity firm Secureworks — shows how the hackers worked their way around the Clinton campaign’s top-of-the-line digital security to steal chairman John Podesta’s emails in March 2016.

It also helps explain how a Russian-linked intermediary could boast to a Trump policy adviser, a month later, that the Kremlin had “thousands of emails” worth of dirt on Clinton.

PHISHING FOR VICTIMS

The rogue messages that first flew across the internet March 10 were dressed up to look like they came from Google, the company that provided the Clinton campaign’s email infrastructure. The messages urged users to boost their security or change their passwords while in fact steering them toward decoy websites designed to collect their credentials.

One of the first people targeted was Rahul Sreenivasan, who had worked as a Clinton organizer in Texas in 2008 — his first paid job in politics. Sreenivasan, now a legislative staffer in Austin, was dumbfounded when told by the AP that hackers had tried to break into his 2008 email — an address he said had been dead for nearly a decade.

“They probably crawled the internet for this stuff,” he said.

Almost everyone else targeted in the initial wave was, like Sreenivasan, a 2008 staffer whose defunct email address had somehow lingered online.

But one email made its way to the account of another staffer who’d worked for Clinton in 2008 and joined again in 2016, the AP found. It’s possible the hackers broke in and stole her contacts; the data shows the phishing links sent to her were clicked several times.

Secureworks’ data reveals when phishing links were created and indicates whether they were clicked. But it doesn’t show whether people entered their passwords.

Within hours of a second volley emailed March 11, the hackers hit pay dirt. All of a sudden, they were sending links aimed at senior Clinton officials’ nonpublic 2016 addresses, including those belonging to longtime Clinton aide Robert Russo and campaign chairman John Podesta.

The Clinton campaign was no easy target; several former employees said the organization put particular stress on digital safety.

Work emails were protected by two-factor authentication, a technique that uses a second passcode to keep accounts secure. Most messages were deleted after 30 days and staff went through phishing drills. Security awareness even followed the campaigners into the bathroom, where someone put a picture of a toothbrush under the words: “You shouldn’t share your passwords either.”

Two-factor authentication may have slowed the hackers, but it didn’t stop them. After repeated attempts to break into various staffers’ hillaryclinton.com accounts, the hackers turned to the personal Gmail addresses. It was there on March 19 that they targeted top Clinton lieutenants — including campaign manager Robby Mook, senior adviser Jake Sullivan and political fixer Philippe Reines.

A malicious link was generated for Podesta at 11:28 a.m. Moscow time, the AP found. Documents subsequently published by WikiLeaks show that the rogue email arrived in his inbox six minutes later. The link was clicked twice.

Podesta’s messages — at least 50,000 of them — were in the hackers’ hands.

A SERIOUS BREACH

Though the heart of the campaign was now compromised, the hacking efforts continued. Three new volleys of malicious messages were generated on the 22nd, 23rd and 25th of March, targeting communications director Jennifer Palmieri and Clinton confidante Huma Abedin, among others.

The torrent of phishing emails caught the attention of the FBI, which had spent the previous six months urging the Democratic National Committee in Washington to raise its shield against suspected Russian hacking. In late March, FBI agents paid a visit to Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters, where they were received warily, given the agency’s investigation into the candidate’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.

The phishing messages also caught the attention of Secureworks, a subsidiary of Dell Technologies, which had been following Fancy Bear, whom Secureworks codenamed Iron Twilight.

Fancy Bear had made a critical mistake.

It fumbled a setting in the Bitly link-shortening service that it was using to sneak its emails past Google’s spam filter. The blunder exposed whom they were targeting.

It was late March when Secureworks discovered the hackers were going after Democrats.

“As soon as we started seeing some of those hillaryclinton.com email addresses coming through, the DNC email addresses, we realized it’s going to be an interesting twist to this,” said Rafe Pilling, a senior security researcher with Secureworks.

By early April Fancy Bear was getting increasingly aggressive, the AP found. More than 60 bogus emails were prepared for Clinton campaign and DNC staffers on April 6 alone, and the hackers began hunting for Democrats beyond New York and Washington, targeting the digital communications director for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and a deputy director in the office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The group’s hackers seemed particularly interested in Democratic officials working on voter registration issues: Pratt Wiley, the DNC’s then-director of voter protection, had been targeted as far back as October 2015 and the hackers tried to pry open his inbox as many as 15 times over six months.

Employees at several organizations connected to the Democrats were targeted, including the Clinton Foundation, the Center for American Progress, technology provider NGP VAN, campaign strategy firm 270 Strategies, and partisan news outlet Shareblue Media.

As the hacking intensified, other elements swung into place. On April 12, 2016, someone paid $37 worth of bitcoin to the Romanian web hosting company THCServers.com to reserve a website called Electionleaks.com, according to transaction records obtained by AP. A botched registration meant the site never got off the ground, but the records show THC received a nearly identical payment a week later to create DCLeaks.com.

By the second half of April, the DNC’s senior leadership was beginning to realize something was amiss. One DNC consultant, Alexandra Chalupa, received an April 20 warning from Yahoo saying her account was under threat from state-sponsored hackers, according to a screengrab she circulated among colleagues.

The Trump campaign had gotten a whiff of Clinton email hacking, too. According to recently unsealed court documents, former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos said that it was at an April 26 meeting at a London hotel that he was told by a professor closely connected to the Russian government that the Kremlin had obtained compromising information about Clinton.

“They have dirt on her,” Papadopoulos said he was told. “They have thousands of emails.”

A few days later, Amy Dacey, then the DNC chief executive, got an urgent call.

There’d been a serious breach at the DNC.

‘DON’T EVEN TALK TO YOUR DOG ABOUT IT’

It was 4 p.m. on Friday June 10 when some 100 staffers filed into the Democratic National Committee’s main conference room for a mandatory, all-hands meeting.

“What I am about to tell you cannot leave this room,” DNC chief operating officer Lindsey Reynolds told the assembled crowd, according to two people there at the time.

Everyone needed to turn in their laptops immediately; there would be no last-minute emails; no downloading documents and no exceptions. Reynolds insisted on total secrecy.

“Don’t even talk to your dog about it,” she was quoted as saying.

Reynolds didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Two days later, as the cybersecurity firm that was brought in to clean out the DNC’s computers finished its work, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told a British Sunday television show that emails related to Clinton were “pending publication.”

“WikiLeaks has a very good year ahead,” he said.

On Tuesday, June 14, the Democrats went public with the allegation that their computers had been compromised by Russian state-backed hackers, including Fancy Bear.

Shortly after noon the next day, William Bastone, the editor-in-chief of investigative news site The Smoking Gun, got an email bearing a small cache of documents marked “CONFIDENTIAL.”

“Hi,” the message said. “This is Guccifer 2.0 and this is me who hacked Democratic National Committee.”

‘CAN IT INFLUENCE THE ELECTION?’

Guccifer 2.0 acted as a kind of master of ceremonies during the summer of leaks, proclaiming that the DNC’s stolen documents were in WikiLeaks’ hands, publishing a selection of the material himself and constantly chatting up journalists over Twitter in a bid to keep the story in the press.

He appeared particularly excited to hear on June 24 that his leaks had sparked a lawsuit against the DNC by disgruntled supporters of Clinton rival Bernie Sanders.

“Can it influence the election in any how?” he asked a journalist with Russia’s Sputnik News, in uneven English.

Later that month Guccifer 2.0 began directing reporters to the newly launched DCLeaks site, which was also dribbling out stolen material on Democrats. When WikiLeaks joined the fray on July 22 with its own disclosures the leaks metastasized into a crisis, triggering intraparty feuding that forced the resignation of the DNC’s chairwoman and drew angry protests at the Democratic National Convention.

Guccifer 2.0, WikiLeaks and DCLeaks ultimately published more than 150,000 emails stolen from more than a dozen Democrats, according to an AP count.

The AP has since found that each of one of those Democrats had previously been targeted by Fancy Bear, either at their personal Gmail addresses or via the DNC, a finding established by running targets’ emails against the Secureworks’ list.

All three leak-branded sites have distanced themselves from Moscow. DCLeaks claimed to be run by American hacktivists. WikiLeaks said Russia wasn’t its source. Guccifer 2.0 claimed to be Romanian.

But there were signs of dishonesty from the start. The first document Guccifer 2.0 published on June 15 came not from the DNC as advertised but from Podesta’s inbox, according to a former DNC official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The official said the word “CONFIDENTIAL” was not in the original document.

Guccifer 2.0 had airbrushed it to catch reporters’ attention.

‘PLEASE GOD, DON’T LET IT BE ME’

To hear the defeated candidate tell it, there’s no doubt the leaks helped swing the election.

“Even if Russian interference made only a marginal difference,” Clinton told an audience at a recent speech at Stanford University, “this election was won at the margins, in the Electoral College.”

It’s clear Clinton’s campaign was profoundly destabilized by the sudden exposures that regularly radiated from every hacked inbox. It wasn’t just her arch-sounding speeches to Wall Street executives or the exposure of political machinations but also the brutal stripping of so many staffers’ privacy.

“It felt like your friend had just been robbed, but it wasn’t just one friend, it was all your friends at the same time by the same criminal,” said Jesse Ferguson, a former Clinton spokesman.

An atmosphere of dread settled over the Democrats as the disclosures continued.

One staffer described walking through the DNC’s office in Washington to find employees scrolling through articles about Putin and Russia. Another said she began looking over her shoulder when returning from Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn after sundown. Some feared they were being watched; a car break-in, a strange woman found lurking in a backyard late at night and even a snake spotted on the grounds of the DNC all fed an undercurrent of fear.

Even those who hadn’t worked at Democratic organizations for years were anxious. Brent Kimmel, a former technologist at the DNC, remembers watching the leaks stream out and thinking: “Please God, don’t let it be me.”

‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN’

On Oct. 7, it was Podesta.

The day began badly, with Clinton’s phone buzzing with crank messages after its number was exposed in a leak from the day before. The number had to be changed immediately; a former campaign official said that Abedin, Clinton’s confidante, had to call staffers one at a time with Clinton’s new contact information because no one dared put it in an email.

The same afternoon, just as the American electorate was digesting a lewd audio tape of Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women, WikiLeaks began publishing the emails stolen from Podesta.

The publications sparked a media stampede as they were doled out one batch at a time, with many news organizations tasking reporters with scrolling through the thousands of emails being released in tranches. At the AP alone, as many as 30 journalists were assigned, at various times, to go through the material.

Guccifer 2.0 told one reporter he was thrilled that WikiLeaks had finally followed through.

“Together with Assange we’ll make america great again,” he wrote.

2nd person questioned in NYC truck attack; Trump might consider sending Saipov to Gitmo

NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors brought terrorism charges Wednesday against the Uzbek immigrant accused in the truck rampage that left eight people dead, saying he was spurred to attack by the Islamic State group’s online calls to action and picked Halloween because he figured streets would be extra crowded.

Even as he lay wounded in the hospital from police gunfire, Sayfullo Saipov asked to display the Islamic State group’s flag in his room and said “he felt good about what he had done,” prosecutors said in court papers.

Saipov, 29, was brought to court in a wheelchair to face charges that could bring the death penalty. Handcuffed and with his legs shackled, Saipov nodded his head repeatedly as he was read his rights in a brief court proceeding that he followed through a Russian interpreter. He was ordered held without bail.

In this courtroom drawing, defendant Sayfullo Saipov, right, addresses the court during his arraignment on federal terrorism charges, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, at Manhattan Federal Court in New York. (Elizabeth Williams/AP)

Outside court, his appointed lawyer, David Patton, said he hoped “everyone lets the judicial process play out.”

“I promise you that how we treat Mr. Saipov in this judicial process will say a lot more about us than it will say about him,” Patton said.

Meanwhile, the FBI was questioning a second person from Uzbekistan, 32-year-old Mukhammadzoir Kadirov. A law enforcement official said Kadirov was a friend of Saipov’s and may not have any role in the case. The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

This handout photograph obtained via the FBI shows Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, 32, in a poster obtained Nov. 1, 2017. (FBI HANDOUT/AFP/Getty Images)

Prosecutors said Saipov had 90 videos and 3,800 photos on one of his two cellphones, many of them ISIS-related pieces of propaganda, including images of prisoners being beheaded, shot or run over by a tank.

Saipov left behind knives and a note, in Arabic and English, that included Islamic religious references and said, “Islamic Supplication. It will endure,” FBI agent Amber Tyree said in court papers. “It will endure” commonly refers to ISIS, Tyree said.

Questioned in his hospital bed, Saipov said he had been inspired by ISIS videos and began plotting an attack about a year ago, deciding to use a truck about two months ago, Tyree said.

Sayfullo Saipov. (St. Charles County, Mo. Department of Corrections/KMOV via AP)

During the last few weeks, Saipov searched the internet for information on Halloween in New York City and for truck rentals, the agent said. Saipov even rented a truck on Oct. 22 to practice making turns, and he initially hoped to get from the bike path across lower Manhattan to hit more pedestrians on the Brooklyn Bridge, Tyree said.

He even considered displaying ISIS flags on the truck during the attack but decided it would draw too much attention, authorities said.

John Miller, deputy New York police commissioner for intelligence, said Saipov “appears to have followed, almost exactly to a T, the instructions that ISIS has put out.”

In the past few years, the Islamic State has exhorted followers online to use vehicles, knives or other close-at-hand means of killing people in their home countries. England, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks since mid-2016.

A November 2016 issue of the group’s online magazine detailed features that an attack truck or van should have, suggested renting such a vehicle, and recommended targeting crowded streets and outdoor gatherings, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a militant-monitoring agency.

Carlos Batista, a neighbour of Saipov’s in Paterson, New Jersey, said he had seen the suspect and two friends using the same model of rented truck several times in the past three weeks.

It was not clear whether Saipov had been on authorities’ radar. Miller said Saipov had never been the subject of a criminal investigation but appears to have links to people who have been investigated.

The crashed vehicle used in what is being described as a terrorist attack sits in lower Manhattan the morning after the event on Nov. 1, 2017 in New York City.  (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In Tuesday’s attack, Saipov drove his speeding truck for nearly a mile along a bike path near the World Trade Center, running down cyclists and pedestrians, then crashed into a school bus, authorities said. He was shot in the abdomen after he jumped out of the vehicle brandishing two air guns, one in each hand, and yelling “God is great!” in Arabic, they said.

The attack killed five people from Argentina, one from Belgium and two Americans, authorities said. Twelve people were injured; nine remained hospitalized in serious or critical condition.

U.S. President Donald Trump called Wednesday for eliminating the 1990s visa lottery program that Saipov used to come to the U.S. in 2010, and the Republican president said he would consider sending Saipov to the Guantanamo Bay detention centre — an idea the White House reinforced by saying it considered Saipov to be an “enemy combatant.”

We mourn the horrifying terrorist attack in NYC. All of America is praying and grieving for the families who lost their precious loved ones.

View image on Twitter

Thank you to the GREAT NYPD, First Responders and all govt officials for having handled the terrible West Side attack so professionally!

CHAIN MIGRATION must end now! Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Just spoke to President Macri of Argentina about the five proud and wonderful men killed in the West Side terror attack. God be with them!

The United States will be immediately implementing much tougher Extreme Vetting Procedures. The safety of our citizens comes first!

Hours later, Saipov was charged in federal court with providing material support to a terrorist group and committing violence and destruction of motor vehicles, resulting in death. Trump’s administration could, at least in theory, still send the suspect to the U.S. base in Cuba later, though such a step would be unprecedented.

“There’s no legal impediment to that,” said Bryan Broyles, the former deputy chief defence counsel for the Guantanamo military commissions.

On the morning after the bloodshed, city leaders vowed New York would not be intimidated and said Sunday’s New York City Marathon, with 50,000 participants and some 2 million spectators anticipated, will go on as scheduled, with increased security.

Runners and cyclists who use the popular bike path were diverted from the crime scene by officers at barricades.

“It’s the messed-up world we live in these days,” said Dave Hartie, 57, who works in finance and rides his bike along the path every morning. “Part of me is surprised it doesn’t happen more often.”

A damaged Home Depot truck remains on the scene Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, after the driver mowed down people on a riverfront bike path near the World Trade Center on Tuesday in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)[/caption]

The slight, bearded Saipov is a legal, permanent U.S. resident. He lived in Ohio and Florida before moving to New Jersey around June, authorities said.

Birth records show he and his wife had two daughters in Ohio, and a neighbour in New Jersey said they recently had a baby boy.

Saipov was a commercial truck driver in Ohio. He also has worked as an Uber and Lyft driver.

In Ohio, Saipov was an argumentative young man whose career was falling apart and who was “not happy with his life,” said Mirrakhmat Muminov, a fellow truck driver from heavily Muslim Uzbekistan.

“He had the habit of disagreeing with everybody,” Muminov said.

He said he and Saipov would sometimes argue about politics and world affairs, including Israel and Palestine. He said Saipov never spoke about ISIS, but he could tell his friend held radical views.

Palestinian group erects Saddam Hussein monument in West Bank

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QALQILYA, Palestinian Territory — Palestinian activists have built a monument to the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the West Bank.

The monument, showing a portrait of Saddam in a bowler hat and pointing a rifle in the air, was erected last week in the town of Qalqiliya.

A small faction called the Arab Liberation Front built the structure, but the city’s governor, a member of the ruling Fatah movement, was among those in attendance at last week’s opening ceremony.

The Qalqiliya municipality declined comment.

Saddam is popular with Palestinians because he fired several dozen Scud missiles at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War. He was toppled in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and executed three years later.

The Arab Liberation Front has built Saddam monuments in several other Palestinian towns.

Doctors stunned by rare case of Italian woman who sweats blood

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An Italian woman’s bleeding episodes lasted one to five minutes and were more intense whenever the woman was feeling emotionally stressed. Embarrassed by the bleeding, the woman grew socially isolated, depressed and anxious

Doctors were baffled when a 21-year-old woman was admitted into an Italian hospital for “sweating blood” from her face and her hands, a condition she’s had for three years, according to two physicians from the University of Florence.

It’s a condition few doctors have seen, and some have questioned whether sweating blood is even possible. Cases of people sweating blood are uncommon, and the Italian floated the idea that the woman may be faking her symptoms.

The bleeding has no clear apparent trigger and can happen while the woman is asleep or during physical activity, wrote doctors Roberto Maglie and Marzia Caproni in a case report published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The bleeding becomes more intense, she told doctors, during times of stress, and the episodes can last from one to five minutes. The woman has isolated herself out of embarrassment, and reported symptoms associated with major depressive and panic disorders, doctors said.

After a round of tests and observations, and after ruling out the likelihood that she was faking her condition, doctors diagnosed the woman with a rare condition called hematohidrosis, in which patients spontaneously sweat blood through unbroken skin. But what causes the woman to “sweat” blood remains unclear: Despite the blood’s sweat-like appearance, doctors aren’t certain whether blood is passing through sweat glands. The bleeding reportedly has occurred through areas without sweat glands or through follicles, the doctors said.

Jacalyn Duffin, a hematologist and medical historian at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., said she had never come across a case of patient sweating blood herself, and that few doctors have. In a commentary that accompanied the case report, she wrote that she was initially skeptical about the condition of the woman in Italy until she dove into medical literature and found that at least two dozen similar cases had surfaced around the world since about 2000.

Of the 42 reports Duffin came across dating back to 1880, almost half had appeared in the last five years, making her wonder whether there has been an increase in cases or if it’s becoming more recognized by doctors. Medical writers have previously traced the condition of sweating blood to the story of Christ’s suffering and the crucifixion, but hematohidrosis has appeared in scientific literature, too. Two treatises by Aristotle from the third century B.C. reference sweat that either looked like, or actually was, blood.

Still, Duffin believes the condition’s association with Christianity and religion may make it more difficult for doctors to accept. Since publication of the Italian case Monday, three people have contacted Duffin to tell her they believe they have the condition.

“That suggests to me that there may be more people who get it,” she said. “They either aren’t taken seriously by their doctors, or they hide it because it’s stigmatized.”

Recently reported cases make Duffin believe the condition is both “possible and plausible,” as the reports are credible, she said. Patients with hematohidrosis have their blood tested and are monitored by doctors, who look to see whether patients are scratching themselves. The majority of cases involve young women or children from around the world, making it difficult for Duffin to believe that the cases are a result of copycat behavior.

Many of the reports Duffin analyzed documented that the bleeding was preceded by emotional trauma, such as witnessing violence at home or at school. In all cases, the condition was transient, lasting anywhere from a month to four years. But little else about the bleeding, such as its causes or how to stop it, is known, she said.

The woman in Italy so far has been treated with propranolol, a heart and blood pressure medication, which has reduced but not completely stopped her bleeding.

Investigators scour NYC truck attack driver’s background

NEW YORK — Investigators worked through the night to determine what led a truck driver to plow down people on a riverfront bike path near the World Trade Center, brandishing air guns and yelling “God is great” in Arabic as his deadly route of terror ended with a crash, authorities said.

Eight people were killed and 11 seriously injured in a Halloween afternoon attack that the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror.” The driver — identified by officials as an immigrant from Uzbekistan — was in critical condition but expected to survive after a police officer shot him in the abdomen.

A roughly two-mile stretch of highway in downtown Manhattan was shut down for the investigation. Authorities also converged on a New Jersey apartment building and a van in a parking lot at a New Jersey Home Depot store. Authorities were scrutinizing a note found inside the attacker’s rented truck, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday the note made a reference to ISIS.

Police and the FBI urged members of the public to give them any photos or video that could help. The attack echoed a strategy that the Islamic State group has been suggesting to its followers. While police didn’t specifically blame any group for the strike, President Donald Trump railed against the Islamic State and declared “enough!” and “NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”

In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!

Updated tip number: call 1-800-CALLFBI (1-800-225-5324) and select option 1. Tipsters can remain anonymous. 

The victims reflected a city that is a melting pot and a magnet for visitors: One of the dead was from Belgium. Five were from Argentina and were celebrating the 30th anniversary of a school graduation, according to officials in those countries. The injured included students and staffers on a school bus that the driver rammed.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat.

Officials who were not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity identified the slight, bearded attacker as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old who came to the U.S. legally in 2010. He has a Florida driver’s license but may have been staying in New Jersey, they said.

Records show Saipov was a commercial truck driver who formed a pair of businesses in Ohio. He had also driven for Uber, the ride-hailing company said. An Ohio marriage license shows that a truck driver with one of Saipov’s addresses and his name, spelled slightly differently, married a fellow Uzbek in 2013.

During his time in Fort Myers, Florida, several years ago, Saipov was “a very good person,” an acquaintance, Kobiljon Matkarov, told The New York Times.

“He liked the U.S. He seemed very lucky, and all the time, he was happy and talking like everything is OK. He did not seem like a terrorist, but I did not know him from the inside,” Matkarov said. He said Saipov later moved to New Jersey and began driving for Uber. San Francisco-based Uber said he started over six months ago.

Police said the attacker rented the truck at about 2 p.m. at a New Jersey Home Depot and then went into New York City, entering the bike path about an hour later and speeding toward the World Trade Center, the site of the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history.

He barrelled along the bike path in the truck for the equivalent of about 14 blocks, or around eight-tenths of a mile, before slamming into a small yellow school bus.

“A person hopped out of the car with two guns and started yelling and screaming,” said a 12-year-old student who had just left a nearby school. “They were yelling ’Allahu Akbar.”’

The student, whose mother asked that his name be withheld, said he ran back into the school, where students cried and huddled in a corner.

Video shot by bystanders showed Saipov walking through traffic wielding what looked like two handguns, but which police later said were a paintball gun and a pellet gun. A police officer shot Saipov when he wouldn’t drop the weapons, police said.

The mayhem set off panic in the neighbourhood and left the pavement strewn with mangled bicycles and bodies that were soon covered with sheets.

“I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground,” said Chen Yi, an Uber driver.

The note inside the truck was handwritten in a foreign language, according to one of the two law enforcement officials who spoke about the document. Both said its contents were being investigated but supported the belief the act was terrorism.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, called Tuesday’s carnage a “lone wolf” attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.

Statements of support and condolences rolled in from around the world Wednesday.

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev sent his condolences to the president and the families of the victims, and offered his country’s assistance in investigating the attack.

Similar statements were issued by France, Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.

New York and other cities around the globe have been on high alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. England, France and Germany have seen deadly vehicle attacks in the past year or so.

On Wednesday morning, runners and cyclists who use the popular bike path for their pre-dawn exercise were diverted away from the crime scene by officers stationed at barricades just north of where the rampage started.

Dave Hartie, 57, who works in financial restructuring, said he rides his bike along this path every morning. “It’s great to be in the city and have that kind of peace.” Asked about the attack he said, “It’s the messed up world we live in these days. Part of me is surprised it doesn’t happen more often.”

OPP probe Halloween gun theft in Tillsonburg

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Two guns were stolen during a break-in at a Tillsonburg home on Halloween.

A 12-guage shotgun equipped with a scope and a 9-millimeter Beretta handgun were stolen from a locked safe inside a North Street West residence some time between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oxford OPP said.

Investigators on Wednesday released a description of a potential suspect and vehicle.

The suspect is described as a man in his late-30s or early-40s, wearing an orange construction coat with yellow reflective stripes. The vehicle is a green Chevrolet two-door pickup truck, possibly a late-1980s model