Published: Thu, November 23, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

NY attack suspect faces expanded 22-count indictment

NY attack suspect faces expanded 22-count indictment

A US grand jury has leveled 22 new charges against an Uzbek immigrant accused of running down eight people in a truck attack in New York City last month, including murder and support for the extremist group Islamic State (IS).

Under the grand jury indictment, Saipov, 29, now faces eight counts of murder in aid of racketeering - all of which carry the potential for life in prison or death - as well as one count of violence and destruction of motor vehicle, which also comes with a potential death sentence.

Immediately after the attacks, President Donald Trump said he would consider detaining Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov at the prison camp on the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but later backed off and said it would be better to allow him to face justice in NY, where prosecutors have become practiced at terrorism trials.

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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.

When Saipov reached Houston St., he steered the truck onto the bike lane and pedestrian path of the West Side Highway, court papers said.

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 NY said. Prosecutors have not said whether they plan to seek the death penalty.

Mr Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant, was hospitalised after he was shot by a police officer and arrested. He told investigators that about two months before the attack, he made a decision to use a truck "to inflict maximum damage against civilians", the complaint states.

Evidence against Saipov includes what was found on two of his phones, according to court documents. Investigators said one phone contained 90 videos and other Islamic State propaganda, including one of a beheading and another of a tank running over a prisoner.

Saipov came to the US legally in 2010 from Uzbekistan, where officials say he had no history of trouble with the law.

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