Trial for Suspect in Deadly 2017 NYC Islamist Terror Attack to Begin Monday

By Matis Glenn

Sayfullo Saipov

Sayfullo Saipov, who allegedly murdered eight people and wounded seven with a rented truck in Manhattan five years ago, is set to face a federal trial Monday, reports ABC News.

 On October 31, 2017, Saipov rented a truck and allegedly targeted pedestrians and cyclists on the West Side Highway in Lower Manhattan. He drove for about a mile, allegedly hitting every person he could find. Prosecutors say he chose a day that would have the most people walking on the street. He was allegedly inspired by Islamic State videos, and was heard saying “Alla-h Akhbar” after he exited the vehicle, which was decorated with Islamic State flags.

Saipov, 29, is charged with committing the most deadly terror attack in New York City since September 11, 2001, and faces charges which could result in the death penalty. If executed, he would be the first person to be put to death in a New York City trial since 1953. New York State does not have a death penalty, but regardless of which state the crime was committed in, federal offenses may incur capital punishment. Monday’s trial marks the beginning of the first federal trial under the Biden administration that may result in the death penalty.

Prosecutors further allege that Saipov rented the truck nine days ahead of the attack, to practice its operation in preparation for his plans. According to the criminal complaint, Saipov was planning the attack for a year.  

The attack necessitated “substantial planning and premeditation,” prosecutors said, describing how Saipov carried it out as “heinous, cruel and depraved.”

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