The perpetrator of the deadliest terror attack in New York since 911 has been given ten life sentences — and will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. In 2017, Sayfullo Saipov killed eight people when he drove a truck into pedestrians on a Manhattan street. His motive for the attack was spreading terror in the name of the terrorist group, the Islamic State. According to witnesses to the trial, Saipov showed no remorse in court when he heard his fate and was confronted by victims’ families.
By Sean Seddon; May 18, 2023
An Islamic State supporter behind the deadliest terror attack in New York since 9/11 has been told he will die in prison serving multiple life sentences.
Sayfullo Saipov killed eight when he drove a truck at pedestrians and cyclists on a Manhattan street in 2017.
He was given 10 life sentences – eight of which run consecutively – plus 260 years, and will never be released.
As he was sentenced, he was told he had “destroyed so many lives” – but showed no remorse during the trial.
Saipov was confronted by victims’ families and survivors in court, with the judge noting his “sheer unrepentant nature” during sentencing on Wednesday.
The Uzbekistan national, now 35, used a rented truck to attack cyclists and pedestrians at random on downtown Manhattan’s West Side on the evening of Halloween 2017.
He shouted “God is great” in Arabic and was shot by police as he emerged from the vehicle. He hoped the atrocity would earn him membership of the group, a previous hearing was told.
He is expected to be held in Colorado’s high-security “supermax” prison, where inmates spend up to 23 hours a day in their cells.
Monica Missio, the mother of victim Nicholas Cleves, told the courtroom: “It disgusts me that he gets to wake up every day while my son does not.”
“His barbarism and cruelty fills me with rage,” she said.
Rachel Pharn, who survived the attack, said she could forgive Saipov for the impact on herself, but not for the suffering he had caused to others who had come to hear the sentencing.
She added: “When I look around the room, when I think of all the pain you caused, that I cannot forgive. That is between you, them and Allah.”
Five of those killed were tourists from Argentina, and a 31-year-old woman from Belgium who was visiting the city also died.
Two Americans, a 32-year-old financial worker and a 23-year-old software engineer, were killed, while 12 others were injured.
US District Judge Vernon Broderick said Saipov’s crimes were notable “both in terms of the impact it had on the victims and on the sheer unrepentant nature of the defendant”.
Addressing the court before sentencing, Saipov appeared to repeat his praise of the terror group and suggested he was unmoved by the testimony he had heard.
He was spared the death penalty when a jury did not unanimously agree to impose one at a hearing last week.