Trump calls for death penalty for Uzbek
man charged in New York attack
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[November 02, 2017]
By Gina Cherelus and Barbara Goldberg
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald
Trump said the Uzbek immigrant accused of killing eight people when he
drove a truck down a New York City bike path should get the death
The suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, told investigators he was inspired by
watching Islamic State videos and began planning Tuesday's attack a year
ago, according to a criminal complaint filed against him on Wednesday.
Saipov, 29, also said "he felt good about what he had done" and asked
for permission to display the flag of the militant group Islamic State
in his hospital room, the complaint said.
"NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital
room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!"
Trump tweeted late on Wednesday.
Saipov faces two charges, one of which carries the death penalty if the
government chooses to seek it, Manhattan acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim
The charges are one count of violence and destruction of motor vehicles
causing the deaths of eight people and one count of providing material
support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization - Islamic
State, also known as ISIS.
The maximum penalty for the first is death; the maximum for the second
life in prison, Kim said.
The charging document said Saipov waived his rights to remain silent,
avoid self-incrimination and have an attorney present when he agreed to
speak to investigators from his bed at Bellevue Hospital Center in
Manhattan, where he was being treated after being shot by a police
It said he was particularly motivated by a video where Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi - the leader of Islamic State - exhorted Muslims in the
United States and elsewhere to support the group's cause.
Investigators found thousands of ISIS-related propaganda images and
videos on Saipov's cellphone, the complaint said. Among them were video
clips showing ISIS prisoners being beheaded, run over by a tank and shot
in the face.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had located another Uzbek
man, Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, 32, wanted for questioning as a person of
interest in the attack.
U.S. law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity
because the investigation was continuing, told Reuters that Saipov had
been in contact with Kadirov and another person of interest in the
ASSAULT DEADLIEST SINCE SEPT. 11, 2001
Tuesday's assault was the deadliest in New York City since the attack on
Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers crashed two jetliners into the World
Trade Center, killing more than 2,600 people.
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Sayfullo Saipov, the suspect in the New York City truck attack is
seen in this handout photo released November 1, 2017. St. Charles
County Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS
Five Argentine tourists, a Belgian, a New Yorker and a New Jersey
man were killed in the attack.
Saipov, who lived in Paterson, New Jersey, allegedly used a pickup
truck rented from a New Jersey Home Depot to run down pedestrians
and cyclists along a 20-block stretch of the Manhattan bike path,
before slamming into a school bus.
He got out of the truck shouting "Allahu Akbar" - Arabic for "God is
greatest" - and brandishing what turned out to be a paint-ball gun
and a pellet gun, authorities said, before a police officer shot
Seated in a wheelchair, Saipov appeared for a hearing in Manhattan
federal court on Wednesday before Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses.
Public defense attorney David Patton was appointed to represent him.
Saipov did not ask for bail and was remanded to federal custody. It
was not immediately clear where he would be held.
Earlier in the day, Trump said he would consider sending Saipov to
the military prison at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
No detainee has been sent to the Guantanamo prison since 2008.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later told reporters that
Trump considers Saipov an "enemy combatant," a designation that
would curtail his legal rights. Trump called him "this animal" and
lambasted the U.S. justice system for terrorism suspects as "a joke"
and "a laughingstock".
Kim said charging Saipov in civilian court would not necessarily
prevent him from later being declared an enemy combatant.
(For a graphic on 'Where the New York truck attack took place' click
(Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen, Melissa Fares and Devika
Kumar in New York, Joseph Ax in Paterson, New Jersey, Mark Hosenball
and Tim Ahmann in Washington and Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee;
Editing by Larry King)
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