Who is Sayfullo Saipov? NYC terrorist who killed 8 cyclists with speeding truck found guilty on 28 counts
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: In a 2017 rampage on a well-known bike path in New York City, an Islamic extremist massacred eight people with a speeding truck. He was found guilty of federal crimes on Thursday, January 26, 2023, and may now be sentenced to death. Sayfullo Saipov heard the verdict in a Manhattan courtroom just a few blocks from the scene of the attack. The Halloween rampage, according to the prosecution, was motivated by the defendant's admiration for the Islamic State militant organization.
Saipov, 34, was found guilty on 28 counts of crimes, including murder in aid of racketeering and supporting a foreign terrorist organization, after the jurors deliberated for roughly seven hours over two days. In order to determine whether he should be put to death or spend the rest of his life in prison, the jury will return to court no sooner than February 6 to hear additional evidence.
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A verdict has been reached in U.S. v. Sayfullo Saipov. Saipov has been found guilty on all counts.— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) January 26, 2023
Who is Sayfullo Saipov?
In New York, a death sentence for Saipov, an Uzbekistan citizen, would be exceptionally rare. The last state execution took place in 1963, and the state no longer employs the death penalty. Since the last execution in 1954, no federal jury in New York has handed down a death sentence that withstood legal challenges, reported Local 4.
Reports said that Saipov was a murderer without a shadow of a doubt even before the trial. His attorneys admitted to the jury that the defendant hired a pickup truck close to his New Jersey home, drove it onto the Hudson River route, and ran over bicyclists for several blocks before striking a school bus not far from the World Trade Center. He yelled "God is great" in Arabic as he emerged from his truck holding paintball and pellet guns before being shot by a policeman who mistook them for real weapons.
'His actions were senseless'
As per reports, a woman from Belgium who was on vacation with her family and five Argentine friends as well as two Americans were killed in the car crash. A woman lost her legs as a result, and other people suffered lasting damage. "His actions were senseless, horrific, and there’s no justification for them," Defense attorney David Patton told the jury during the trial.
Despite copious quantities of the Islamic State's propaganda being discovered on his electronic devices and in his residence, the defense requested the jury to clear Saipov of racketeering charges, arguing that he meant to die as a martyr and was not collaborating with the group.
'Not Allah's judgments'
Saipov remained silent during his trial but at a pretrial hearing in 2018, he insisted on asking the judge why he should be held accountable for eight deaths when "thousands and thousands of Muslims are dying all over the world." He said that the rulings made there were "not important" to him since they were "not Allah's judgments," CBS reported.
The killer arrived in the United States legally in 2010 from Uzbekistan and lived in Florida and Ohio before reuniting with his family in Paterson, New Jersey. He claims he committed the crime on behalf of ISIS, but as per his defense, he has no true affiliation with the terrorist organization.
'Bike path into his battlefield'
As reported by CBS, the prosecution cited a pile of evidence against him during its three-hour closing argument. The 34-year-old is accused of turning a "bike path into his battlefield" by following the ISIS terror playbook, which includes using a 6,000-pound rental truck, aiming for a populated area, and even bringing a confession to the crime with him.
Saipov has admitted to ramming his car into the bike lane at Pier 40, running over eight cyclists, killing eight, and wounding many more. Saipov seemed to be moving at a speed of more than 60 mph, according to a crash expert. The accused claimed he hit some poles and a school bus while trying to continue toward the Brooklyn Bridge. He exited, yelling "Allahu akbar" while brandishing a pair of phony firearms. An officer ultimately shot him.
'A caliphate soldier'
Saipov's defense lawyers contend that he could not be seeking to join ISIS since he believed he would die during the assault. A Jihadist studies expert testified that if you survive or perish during an attack, ISIS still views you as a member or martyr of its organization. Saipov requested that an ISIS flag be hung in his hospital room. The prosecution displayed his ISIS artwork by pointing to a jail journal seized in 2022. In a taped prison phone call with his mother, he claimed to be a caliphate soldier. Saipov, according to the defense, was inspired by his religion and not ISIS.