NEW YORK, Nov 2 (APP):US President Donald Trump has called for the death penalty for an Uzbek immigrant accused of driving a truck down a New York City bike path, killing eight people.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, who was hospitalized after he was shot by a police officer and arrested, told investigators he had been inspired by watching Da’esh/ISIS videos and began planning Tuesday’s attack a year ago, according to a criminal complaint filed against him on Wednesday.
In a tweet, Trump 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.”
On Thursday, Trump followed up by appearing to rule out sending Saipov to the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison, after having said he would consider it on Wednesday.
“Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system,” the president tweeted.
“There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY”
According to American observers, President Trump’s response to the attack Tuesday in New York City was in sharp contrast to what he did after the Las Vegas massacre a month ago. They noted that the president routinely politicizes terrorist attacks carried out by immigrants.
But when U.S.-born gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured more than 500 others in Las Vegas, and was found to have an arsenal of 47 guns, Trump remained largely silent.
Saipov was charged with one count of providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically Da’esh/ISIS, and one count of violence and destruction of motor vehicles causing the deaths of eight people.
Vehicle assaults similar to the New York attack took place in Spain in August and in France and Germany last year, claiming dozens of lives.
Saipov told authorities he made a trial run with a rental truck on 22nd October to practice turning the vehicle and stated that he felt good about what he had done after the attack, the complaint alleged.
The 10-page charging document said Saipov waived his rights to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination in agreeing to speak to investigators without an attorney present from his bed at Bellevue hospital center in Manhattan.
The complaint said Saipov had requested permission to display the Islamic Stateflag in his hospital room.
It said he was particularly motivated by seeing a video in which Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “who led the campaign by Isis to seize territory for a self-proclaimed caliphate within Iraq and Syria“ exhorted Muslims in the US and elsewhere to support the group’s cause.
Investigators found thousands of Isis-related propaganda images and videos on a cellphone belonging to Saipov, including video clips showing IsIs prisoners being beheaded, run over by a tank and shot in the face, the complaint said.
The FBI said it had located another Uzbek man, Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, 32, wanted for questioning as a person of interest in the attack.
Tuesday’s assault was the deadliest in New York City since 11th September 2001, when suicide hijackers crashed two jetliners into the World Trade Center, killing more than 2,600 people.US law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, said Saipov had been in contact with Kadirov and another person of interest in the investigation, though they did not elaborate.
Of those killed, five were Argentine tourists, who were among a group of friends visiting New York to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation, one was a Belgian citizen, one was a New York resident and one lived in New Jersey.
Saipov allegedly used a pickup truck rented from a New Jersey Home Depot store to run down pedestrians and cyclists along a 20-block stretch of the bike path beside the Hudson river before slamming into a school bus.
New York Goernor. Andrew Cuomo told CNN that Saipov ‘radicalized domestically’ after moving to America seven years ago, where he had worked as a commercial truck driver and Uber driver.
Saipov married in 2013 and has since fathered three children – the youngest of whom is three months old. Overnight, FBI agents raided the couple’s Paterson, New Jersey home.