Sayfullo Saipov, who allegedly mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a popular Lower Manhattan bike path on Halloween as part of an apparent terrorist attack, which killed eight people and injured 12, has been formally indicted on charges of murder in aid of racketeering.
Saipov, 29, is accused of 22 total counts, which also include attempted murder in aid of racketeering, providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and violence and destruction of motor vehicles.
Federal prosecutors say Saipov executed the attacks in the name of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
Saipov allegedly planned the attack about one year ago and, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, drove a rented flatbed from New Jersey over the George Washington Bridge at about 3 p.m. Oct. 31 and headed southbound down the West Side Highway.
At about the intersection with Houston Street, according to the indictment, Saipov began driving the truck on the pedestrian walkway and bike lane along the West Side Highway.
The attacks ended when Saipov’s truck crashed into the broadside of a school bus; he was taken into custody after he was shot by a New York City police officer.
Prosecutors said police found a paintball gun, a pellet gun, a stun gun, and three knives at the scene.
They also found texts in Arabic which the Justice Department framed in its statement as including apparent references to ISIS.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Beaty, Amanda Houle and Matthew Laroche are prosecuting the case.
Attorneys from the Federal Defenders of New York are representing Saipov.