Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbek-born terrorist accused of driving a truck into a crowded bike lane in downtown Manhattan this past Halloween, was indicted on charges of murder and terrorism in a federal court Tuesday evening.
Saipov: A remorseless killer
The 29-year-old was charged with a total of 22 separate counts, including charges that he provided material support to the Islamic State. Several of the charges can also carry the death penalty if he is found guilty. “Sayfullo Saipov murdered eight innocent people and injured many more in a calculated act of terrorism in the heart of one of our great cities,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said before the hearing. “People have a right to safety walking down a sidewalk or riding a bike, and we will not change our resolve to confront these threats both at home and abroad.” Saipov himself did not appear in the courtroom.
From what is known about Saipov’s behavior in custody, he appears to be remorseless for his act, even asking nurses if he could hang an ISIS flag in his hospital room. His lawyer was unable to be reached for comment from several sources, but it is believed that Saipov will personally appear at the next hearing in his case, scheduled for Nov. 28.
A terrible atrocity
The vicious terrorist attack for which Saipov is facing trial unfolded on the afternoon of October 31, when the killer drove his rented Home Depot pickup truck onto a busy Manhattan bike lane, running over several people before smashing into a school bus. He then hopped out of his vehicle, likely intending to be killed by police officers, brandishing two guns that were later determined to be fake.
Saipov was indeed shot by a police officer, although it was a non-lethal wound, allowing other officers to restrain him and bring him into custody. In his truck they also found a handwritten note praising ISIS, and it was discovered that his phone was full of more than 90 ISIS propaganda videos. When asked by investigators, he reportedly told them that he had “felt good about what he had done,” and said that he was inspired to carry out the attack by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who released a video calling on American Muslims to carry out terror attacks in retribution for the deaths of Muslims in the Middle East.
What do you think should be done with Saipov? Should he be given the death penalty, or should he while out his years in an American federal prison? Let us know your thoughts below!