WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump called Wednesday for the man charged with carrying out a New York City truck rampage that killed eight people to be put to death.
“NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!” Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to the Islamic State jihadist group.
NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017
The president had earlier said he would consider sending Sayfullo Saipov to Guantanamo Bay, the US military detention center in Cuba that has been used to indefinitely hold suspected foreign jihadists, a practice that has drawn repeated criticism from rights groups.
Many people expressed concern that Trump had prejudiced the Judicial system with his Tweet, in fact making it harder to give Saipov the death penalty.
I've run out of adjectives. By weighing in like this, Trump may have just assured he DOESN'T get the death penalty. https://t.co/rZPYR9LeuI
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) November 2, 2017
Investigators said Wednesday that the man who mowed down cyclists and pedestrians in New York the day before had confessed to acting in the name of IS and said that he “felt good” about the killings.
Prosecutors have filed charges against Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant, who they said began planning the attack a year ago.
The complaint against Saipov listed two counts: provision of material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, and violence and destruction of motor vehicles.
It was not immediately clear if he would face further charges.
Prosecutors said in court papers, Saipov asked to display the Islamic State group’s flag in his hospital room and said “he felt good about what he had done.”
Trump referenced that in his comments on Twitter.
Outside court, Saipov’s attorney said he hoped “everyone lets the judicial process play out.”