The man that is being detained on federal terrorism charges pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to eight counts of murder and a plethora of other charges after the deadliest terror attack New York has seen since 9/11.
Sayfullo Saipov appeared in Federal District Court in Manhattan today facing eight counts of murder in aid of racketeering activity, 12 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity, providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, and violence and destruction of motor vehicles.
The racketeering activity referred to the terrorism of the Islamic State; according to the indictment handed up by a grand jury on Nov. 21, Mr. Saipov acted “for the purpose of gaining entrance to ISIS.”
Saipov drove at high speed down a bicycle path along the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan on Halloween in broad daylight, plowing through several bikers and pedestrians, killing eight and injuring at least twelve.
At Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where Mr. Saipov was taken after being shot, he asked officials to hang the ISIS flag in his hospital room, the complaint said. He told them he “felt good about what he had done.”
Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, with Gen. Attorney Jeff Sessions commenting he would use “all lawful tools at our disposal” to prosecute terrorism.