NEW YORK–A grand jury returned a twenty-two count indictment Wednesday against Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipovm, 29, of Paterson, New Jersey, in connection with Saipov’s alleged terrorist attack in lower Manhattan on Oct. 31, which killed eight people and injured twelve more.
The indictment charges Saipov with eight counts of murder in aid of racketeering, twelve counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and one count of violence and destruction of a motor vehicle resulting in death.
Saipov was initially arrested on a complaint and presented before the Honorable Barbara Moses on Nov. 1. He was ordered detained and has been in federal custody since his arrest.
“As alleged in this indictment, Sayfullo Saipov murdered eight innocent people and injured many more in a calculated act of terrorism in the heart of one of our great cities,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “People have a right to safety walking down a sidewalk or riding a bike, and we will not change our resolve to confront these threats both at home and abroad. I am especially proud today of the law enforcement officers who acted quickly and courageously to respond and to protect people from further harm. We continue to offer our assistance, our support and our prayers to the victims of this attack and to all the people of New York City.”
“Consumed by hate and a twisted ideology, Sayfullo Saipov allegedly barreled down a pedestrian walkway and bicycle path on a sunny afternoon on the West Side of Manhattan, killing eight innocent people and injuring at least a dozen others,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim. “As the scores of videos and images on his cellphone showed, Saipov’s depraved use of a rental truck as a weapon of terror was allegedly in support of the terrorist organization ISIS.
On Oct. 31, at approximately 3 p.m., Saipov drove a rented flatbed truck from New Jersey over the George Washington Bridge into New York City. After Saipov entered New York City, he proceeded in the Truck to the West Side Highway and began traveling southbound. Once Saipov was in the vicinity of Houston Street in Manhattan, he drove the Truck onto the bike lane and pedestrian walkway of the West Side Highway. Saipov then drove down the walkway for several blocks, striking numerous civilians. Saipov eventually collided with a school bus, which was carrying occupants in the vicinity of West Street and Chambers Street, at which point the Truck came to a halt.
After Saipov collided with the school bus, he exited the driver’s door of the truck with two objects in his hands that appeared to be firearms. Moments after Saipov got out of the Truck, he yelled, in substance and in part, “Allahu Akbar,” which is an Arabic phrase that translates to “God is Great.”
Saipov was shot by a law enforcement officer and taken into custody. Law enforcement officers subsequently recovered in the vicinity of the truck, among other things, a paintball gun, a pellet gun, a stun gun and three knives. Law enforcement officers also recovered, approximately ten feet from the driver’s door of the truck, a document that contained, among other things, the Arabic text for “No God but God and Muhammad is his Prophet” and “Islamic Supplication. It will endure.” “It will endure” is commonly used to refer to ISIS. Cellphones recovered from the truck contained, among other things, videos and images of ISIS propaganda and internet searches for truck rentals and for Halloween in New York City.
After Saipov was taken into custody, he was transferred to Bellevue Hospital, where he made statements to law enforcement officers after waiving his Miranda rights.
Eight individuals died from the injuries they sustained as a result of the truck driving on the walkway and at least twelve additional individuals were injured.