The beginning of the trial of an attack that killed 8 people in New York in 2017
Since Monday, Sayfullo Saipov has been indicted in New York for murder on behalf of the Islamic State (IS) group. In 2017, he launched his pickup truck on a drive through lower Manhattan, claiming several victims and killing eight people.
The murder trial on behalf of the Islamic State (IS) group of an Uzbek man who killed eight cyclists and pedestrians in a large vehicle in New York in 2017 opened on Monday, a case in which the US court demanded the death penalty.
On Halloween 2017, Sayfullo Saipov, a radicalized Uzbek, launched his pickup truck on a drive along the Hudson River in lower Manhattan, claiming many victims, killing eight, including five Argentines and a Belgian. It was the deadliest for an attack in New York since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The trial, expected to last three months in a Manhattan court, is the first at the federal level of Joe Biden’s term, where the death sentence is on game.
Elected in November 2020, the Democratic president had promised during his campaign to work to abolish the death penalty at the federal level, and his attorney general had decreed a moratorium on federal executions shortly after the election, which did not prevent those decided by the states.
But in a Sept. 16, 2022, court document in Sayfullo Saipov’s case file, Manhattan prosecutor Damian Williams acknowledged the Justice Department’s decision “to continue to seek the death penalty” in the case, leaving no question a position decided under Donald Trump’s mandate. (2017-2021).
In another terrorist case, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the Biden administration had already refrained from blocking a Supreme Court referral under Donald Trump’s mandate to restore the death penalty. For one of the two authors, Djokhar Tsarnaev, the high court had thus reinstated the death penalty in March 2022.
Sayfullo Saipov, 34, faces 28 charges, including eight for “murder for joining the Islamic State” and one for “supporting the Islamic State”. During his statements at the opening of the trial, prosecutor Alexander Li recalled that the accused had wanted to make as many victims as possible and chose New York because “he knew there would be people in the streets”. He described Sayfullo Saipov, who arrived in the US in 2010, as having been preparing since 2016 “to become a soldier for IS”.
According to David Patton, one of his lawyers, Saipov did not seek to join ISIS after his crimes and expected to die. He presented this married man and father of three as having been radicalized on the Internet. “He was convinced” that his crimes amounted to “a religious obligation” and “he still believes that,” the lawyer added.
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