Attorney General Merrick Garland is reportedly defying President Joe Biden by pursuing the death sentence for an alleged Islamist terrorist suspected of murdering eight people and injured more than a dozen more in a 2017 truck assault in New York City.
Biden has promised to cease federal executions, but his top prosecutor is pursuing the death sentence in the case of an Uzbek national who reportedly plowed over bikers and pedestrians on a bike path near Manhattan’s West Side Highway on Halloween five years ago.
The federal trial starts on Monday.
According to federal prosecutors, the defendant, who reportedly drove a leased vehicle down a packed cycling path before slamming into a school bus while chanting “Allahu Akbar,” premeditated the crime and has showed no remorse since his detention.
They allege that watching ISIS videos radicalized him.
Six tourists were killed, as well as a computer scientist from New York and a Wall Street worker from New Jersey.
His not guilty plea qualifies him for the federal death sentence.
Federal prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty, an occasion which will officially mark President Joe Biden’s first federal death penalty trial.
If found guilty, the suspect will face the death sentence for the first time in Manhattan since the Cold War espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953.
Investigators reportedly discovered thousands of images and videos of Islamic State propaganda on Saipov’s phone, including recordings of detainees being beheaded.
The suspect also allegedly informed authorities that he was motivated to carry out the attack by the terror group’s propaganda and painted his truck with their flag during the attack.
Since its defeat in Syria and Iraq, the radical group has faded from public view but still poses a serious threat in various locations around the globe.