He plotted for over a year and did a practice run on October 22, but in the end Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov, 29, chose Halloween to launch his attack in New York City, and has now been charged with terrorism by federal prosecutors.
Saipov claims he was inspired by ISIS videos shared online, and chose the date of his truck attack because he assumed the US Halloween holiday would mean streets were extra crowded. In the end, he killed eight people.
Appearing in court in a wheelchair with shackled legs, the accused nodded his head while being read the charges. His rights were read to him with the aid of a Russian translator.
Saipov has been held without bail, and his charges could lead to the death penalty.
On one of two mobile telephones belonging to the suspect, 90 videos and 3,800 photos were found, most of which were ISIS propaganda–some of which included the beheadings of prisoners and others being shot or run over by a tank.
He also claims he considered displaying ISIS flags on the truck during the attack, but was afraid that would draw too much suspicion. He requested that an ISIS flag be displayed in his hospital room.
His assault reportedly killed five people from Argentina, who were in New York City for a reunion, one from Belgium and two Americans.
Saipov has indicated that he’d intended continuing his assault to the Brooklyn Bridge, but his plans were thwarted when Officer Ryan Nash, 28, shot and wounded the suspect. Saipov’s wounds stopped him in his tracks but he is expected to survive and face charges.
He reportedly “feels good” about his actions.