The Associated Press reports that a New Jersey man was subject to a 22-count indictment after he allegedly killed eight people with a truck on a New York City bike path.
The accused, Sayfullo Saipov, 29, is a resident of Paterson. Charges include providing support to the Islamic State group, 12 counts of attempted murder and eight counts of murder. Many of his charges carry the maximum penalty of death, says the AP.
On October 31, Saipov was arrested after allegedly running over multiple people in what has been labeled as a terrorist attack. AG Jeff Sessions was quoted as stating that it was a “calculated act of terrorism in the heart of one of our great cities.”
U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim told the AP that videos and photos on Saipov’s cellphone will be used as evidence against him in the case. Saipov’s attorney was unavailable for comment.
Head of the FBI office in New York City, William F. Sweeney, told the press that Saipov acted with the intention of causing terror, death and significant damage during the attack.
Saipov is accused of using a rented truck to run over the pedestrians and bike riders on the path. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, and Saipov pledged his allegiance to the group during his arrest. Officers also found notes near the truck written in Arabic, pledging allegiance to ISIS, according to FoxNews.
After the attack, he ran the truck into a school bus and was shot by a police officer. Injuries were minor, and he was treated and transferred to a Manhattan prison two days later. Reports state that he requested an ISIS flag be hung in his hospital room, says FoxNews.
Saipov legally emigrated to the U.S. in 2010 from Uzbekistan, and has no criminal history from there. His first U.S. home was in Ohio, and he later lived in Florida. He worked as a commercial truck driver for a time, and most recently worked as an Uber driver in New Jersey, where he lived with his wife and children.
Court records indicated that Saipov told authorities he was led to carry out the attack after watching a video of the terrorist group’s leader asking Muslims in the U.S. what they were doing in response to Muslims being killed in Iraq, reports the AP.
Saipov had one cell phone with over 90 Islamic State videos on them, including one video of a tank running over a prisoner and one of a beheading. Another cell phone had browser history showing searches for truck rental companies.
*Photo credit: St. Charles County, Mo. Department of Corrections via AP)