• 19:48
  • 25.05.2020
Truck attack suspect faces terror charges

Truck attack suspect faces terror charges

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Federal prosecutors have brought terrorism charges against the Uzbek immigrant accused in the truck rampage that left eight people dead, saying he was spurred to attack by the Islamic State group's online calls to action.
Even as he lay wounded in the hospital from police gunfire, Sayfullo Saipov asked to display the Islamic State group's flag in his room and said "he felt good about what he had done," prosecutors said in court papers.
Saipov was brought to court in a wheelchair to face the charges, which could bring the death penalty.
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Saipov nodded his head repeatedly as he was read his rights in a brief court proceeding that he followed through a Russian interpreter.
His court-appointed lawyer, David Patton, said Saipov was in "a significant amount of pain" and asked that he get wound care and a wheelchair or crutches in the federal lockup where he's being held without bail.
Outside of court, Patton called for fair treatment of his client.
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"I promise you that how we treat Mr Saipov in this judicial process will say a lot more about us than it will say about him," he said.
Saipov, accused of driving the rented Home Depot ute that barrelled down a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, was charged with providing material support to a terrorist group and committing violence and destruction of motor vehicles, resulting in death.
Prosecutors said he had 90 videos and 3,800 photos on one of his two phones, many of them ISIS-related pieces of propaganda, including images of prisoners being beheaded, shot or run over by a tank.
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Saipov left behind knives and a note, in Arabic and English, that included Islamic religious references and said, "Islamic Supplication. It will endure," FBI agent Amber Tyree said in court papers.
Questioned in his hospital bed, Saipov said he had been inspired by ISIS videos that he watched on his phone and began plotting an attack about a year ago, deciding to use a truck about two months ago.
The aftermath took a political turn Wednesday when President Donald Trump slammed the visa lottery program that Saipov used to come to the US in 2010.
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The slight, bearded Saipov is a legal, permanent U.S. resident. He lived in Ohio and Florida before moving to New Jersey around June, authorities said.
Birth records show he and his wife had two daughters in Ohio, and a neighbour in New Jersey said they recently had a baby boy.
Saipov was a commercial truck driver in Ohio. More recently, he was an Uber driver.
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Meanwhile, the FBI said it had found a second person from Uzbekistan it wanted to question - 32-year-old Mukhammadzoir Kadirov.
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