Federal prosecutors filed charges accusing the driver in the Manhattan truck attack of carrying out a long-planned plot, spurred by Islamic State propaganda videos, to kill people celebrating Halloween. The charges describe driver Sayfullo Saipov, 29, as a voracious consumer and meticulous student of ISIS propaganda, and detail how he said he was prompted to attack by an ISIS video questioning the killing of Muslims in Iraq. They say he began planning the attack about a year ago and, after taking a test run in a Home Depot rental truck last week, chose Halloween to carry it out because more people would be on the streets, the New York Times reports. The charges were filed in civilian court, and not the military system set up for foreign terrorists, a decision that flew in the face of Trump’s broadsides against the criminal justice system.
Saipov, accused of killing eight people and injuring 12 in the attack, was pushed into a Manhattan federal courtroom in a wheelchair just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The charges include one count of violence and destruction of a motor vehicle causing death. One charge involving destruction of a vehicle carries the possibility of the death penalty, raising the prospect of a rare capital case being brought to trial in New York. The FBI found a second Uzbek man in connection with the attack, Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, 32. Authorities questioned Saipov after he waived his Miranda rights at a hospital. They were also questioning Mr. Saipov’s wife, Nozima Odilova, who was cooperating. The couple live in Paterson, N.J., and have three children.