Ten life sentences were given to the terrorist who carried out a 2017 Islamic State truck ramming attack in New York City that killed eight and injured 12, the US Justice Department announced on Wednesday night.
Uzbekistan-born Sayfullo Saipov, 34, received eight consecutive life sentences, two concurrent life sentences and a consecutive sentence of 260 years for the Halloween terrorist attack in which he deliberately drove a 6,000 pound truck into people on the Hudson River Bike Path in lower Manhattan.
Saipov will spend the rest of his life in prison
“Today’s sentence means that Sayfullo Saipov will spend the rest of his life in federal prison for brutally murdering eight innocent victims during his carefully calculated ISIS terrorist attack,” said US Attorney-General Merrick Garland. “The Department of Justice honors the victims, their families, and the survivors of this horrific attack. We will continue to vigorously defend the American people from threats of terrorism and will work tirelessly to bring those who perpetrate terrorist attacks to justice.”
Saipov had been convicted of all 28 counts in his indictment on January 26, which included murder for the purpose of entry into a racketeering enterprise and providing material support to a designated terrorist organization resulting in death. Saipov received the maximum prison sentence for his crimes, but on March 13, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on a death sentence for the terrorist.
“These eight life sentences account for the eight lives Saipov stole when he committed his vicious ISIS attack," said US Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York. "The 260 years in prison constitutes the maximum penalty for the 18 attempted murders Saipov cruelly committed, which included the attempted murders of four children. More than just holding Saipov accountable for his depraved crimes, the proceedings today gave further voice to the victims."
Victims reportedly suffered brain injuries, permanent physical injuries, and psychological trauma. Some of those injured in the attack had to undergo limb amputations.
According to the Justice Department, Saipov rented a truck to practice the attack weeks prior. He had brought an Islamic State flag with him when he conducted the terrorist attack, and said he had committed the crime in response to a call to arms from ISIS leaders.
"Saipov smiled when describing his attack and sought to hang the ISIS flag in his hospital room," said the Justice Department.
Islamic State praised Saipov as one of the terrorist organization's soldiers. Since the attack, Saipov continued to express support for the group and called for more violence in its name.