Federal prosecutors in New York have confirmed that they have filed charges against the driver of the truck that killed eight people in Manhattan on Wednesday. The charges were filed less than 24 hours after the attack happened. The man has been charged with a long-planned plot to harm Americans. His affiliation with the Islamic State has been influenced by propaganda videos. The people killed in the attack had been celebrating Halloween. Other than the eight people who died, the attack also seriously injured 11 people. Police are treating the incident as the deadliest attack in the city since Sept. 11 attack. These charges were filed at a time when the president of the United States referred to American courts as a laughingstock and as a joke. According to the charges, the defendant is a 29-year-old man known as Sayfullo Saipov. He has been described by federal officials as a meticulous student and voracious consumer of the ISIS propaganda. The officials have also given an account of how he was inspired by a video from Iraq to carry out the attack. The federal officials further say that he began planning for the attack over 12 months ago. Then last week, he carried the exercise of the attack at a Home Depot rental truck. They further say that he settled for the Halloween celebrations as he would be able to get more victims than on the streets.
It’s also important to note that the charges against the man were filed in a civilian court. This is unlike the common practice where charges against foreign terrorists are filed in military system courts. This is a decision that didn’t go well with the president as he tweeted saying that he was open to trying the accused man at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The man was brought in the Manhattan federal courtroom while on a wheelchair. Five guards stood behind the man who had his feet and hands chained. There was a Russian interpreter in the room who spoke into the microphone as the defendant was handed an earpiece. The proceedings in the court were led by Magistrate Judge Barbara C. Moses. When the judge asked the man whether he understood the proceedings, he replied in English confirming that he understood everything. His role in killing the eight people is likely to call for death. It’s very rare for federal prosecutors in the State of New York to request for death.