President Donald Trump called Wednesday evening for the execution of suspected NYC terrorist Sayfullo Saipov, who mowed down pedestrians in a rental truck, killing eight in the process and injuring about a dozen others.
“NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room,” Trump tweeted late Wednesday evening. “He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!”
Trump’s tweets come after news reports that the 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State based on notes left at the scene of the carnage and interviews with authorities, is bragging about his attack and asking for an ISIS flag in his hospital room.
Saipov apparently said he was proud of the Halloween attack, during which he shouted “Allahu Akbar.” Court papers allege that Saipov was inspired to carry out the attack after seeing a video of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Saipov told the FBI that the video was directed to ISIS supporters in the United States, asking them what they were doing in response to the American military killing Muslims in Iraq.
Saipov is so far facing a terrorism charge and one count of violence and destruction of a motor vehicle with willful disregard for human life. The latter charge could carry a death sentence.
Trump has also pledged to implement “much tougher Extreme Vetting Procedures,” but it’s unclear exactly what those procedures will entail. However, as one concrete proposal, Trump called Tuesday for an end to the diversity visa lottery program, which is how Saipov obtained his green card when he moved to the U.S. in 2010.