News, Culture & Society

Suspect in New York Halloween terrorist attack was being wiretapped by FBI

Just a day before Sayfullo Saipov allegedly got into a truck and killed eight people on a Manhattan bike path on Halloween 2017, he was being wiretapped by the FBI. 

Saipov’s defense attorneys have revealed that one of the recordings was from October 30, 2017, while other conversations were recorded over a three-year period.

While it has not been disclosed whether Saipov, 30, discussed the alleged attack in the recorded conversations, it does suggest he was talking to others who were being surveilled by the FBI. 

Saipov, who legally moved to the US from Uzbekistan in 2010, allegedly drove a rented pickup truck down a bike path along Manhattan’s Hudson River on October 31, 2017, killing eight people before crashing into a school bus. 

Just a day before Sayfullo Saipov allegedly got into a truck and killed eight people on a Manhattan bike path on Halloween 2017, he was being wiretapped by the FBI

He then allegedly ran down a highway while waving both a paintball and pellet gun and shouted ‘God is great’ in Arabic. 

Saipov was shot in the stomach by a police officer and then arrested at the scene. 

It was the deadliest terrorist attack in New York since September 11, 2001. 

Saipov is now facing eight counts of murder, 12 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and providing material support to the Islamic State group. 

While he was recovering overnight in the hospital following the attack, Saipov told two FBI agents that he had been inspired by ISIS videos he watched on his phone. 

He told the agents that he had begun planning the attack a year earlier and chose to use a truck to inflict maximum damage. 

Saipov also told agents that he ‘felt good about what he had done’.

Saipov allegedly drove a rented pickup truck down a bike path along Manhattan's Hudson River on October 31, 2017, killing eight people before crashing into a school bus

Saipov allegedly drove a rented pickup truck down a bike path along Manhattan’s Hudson River on October 31, 2017, killing eight people before crashing into a school bus

Saipov is now facing eight counts of murder, 12 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and providing material support to the Islamic State group. Pictured are police at his house in Paterson, New Jersey following the attack 

Saipov is now facing eight counts of murder, 12 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and providing material support to the Islamic State group. Pictured are police at his house in Paterson, New Jersey following the attack 

The FBI recordings were disclosed by Saipov’s defense attorneys as part of a motion to suppress the very statements he made to the two FBI agents on the day of the attack.

Saipov’s attorneys said they received ‘numerous audio recordings of conversations between Mr Saipov and various targets of FBI surveillance’, according to the New York Times. 

They also received 1,000 pages of translated summaries of calls, which they said were mostly made in Uzbez.  

It remains possible that Saipov was not the FBI’s actual target during the surveillance, but had been involved in conversations with others who were being wiretapped by the FBI. 

Saipov told the agents that he had begun planning the attack a year earlier and chose to use a truck to inflict maximum damage

Saipov told the agents that he had begun planning the attack a year earlier and chose to use a truck to inflict maximum damage

Saipov’s lawyers said they were told by prosecutors that the wiretapped conversations would not be used during Saipov’s trial.   

But the defense claims that the FBI agents who questioned Saipov had interrogated him ‘about matters and contacts’ that overlapped with the FBI surveillance. 

Saipov’s lawyers have asked the court to throw out statements he made to the agents, arguing that he was questioned while under the effect of powerful drugs as he recovered from gunshot wounds. 

Saipov goes to trial next fall. The defense has noted that New York is a non-death-penalty state and claim the federal death penalty law is too flawed to enforce.

The federal government said it will seek the death penalty if Saipov is convicted at trial, which will begin next October in Manhattan's Federal District Court

The federal government said it will seek the death penalty if Saipov is convicted at trial, which will begin next October in Manhattan’s Federal District Court

Saipov's lawyers have opposed the death penalty, pointing that tweets sent by President Donald Trump after the attack have politicized the case 

Saipov’s lawyers have opposed the death penalty, pointing that tweets sent by President Donald Trump after the attack have politicized the case 

Saipov’s lawyers already have opposed the death penalty in the case on other grounds, including tweets that were sent about the attack by Donald Trump.

After Saipov’s arrest, the president tweeted” ‘SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY’ and ‘Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY’. 

The federal government said it will seek the death penalty if Saipov is convicted at trial, which will begin next October in Manhattan’s Federal District Court. 

Saipov has pleaded not guilty.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk