The suspect in New York’s deadliest terror attack since 9/11 was indicted Tuesday on murder and terror-related charges, the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York said.
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, is charged with killing eight people and injuring a dozen others as he drove a pickup truck down a bicycle path near the World Trade Center on Halloween.
The 22-count indictment charges Saipov with eight counts of murder in aid of racketeering, 12 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS and one count of violence and destruction of a motor vehicle.
He was arrested after the truck hit a school bus, stopping it in its tracks. He exited the vehicle and an officer shot him.
Saipov came to the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010. Earlier this month, he was charged with providing material support to ISIS, and with violence and destruction of motor vehicles.
Saipov told investigators he was inspired by ISIS videos to use a truck in the attack, according to a complaint. Investigators searched two of his cellphones and found about 90 videos and 3,800 pictures, many of which were ISIS-related propaganda. He told investigators that about two months before the attack, he decided to use a truck “to inflict maximum damage against civilians,” the complaint states.
In particular, Saipov said he was motivated to proceed with his plan after watching a video of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi questioning “what Muslims in the United States and elsewhere were doing to respond to the killing of Muslims in Iraq.”
He thought about displaying an ISIS flag in the truck, according to the complaint, but decided against it to avoid drawing attention to himself, he told investigators. He also asked to display an ISIS flag in his hospital room after the attack, the complaint states.
Saipov is scheduled to appear in federal court on November 28 on the charges.