11/03/2017, 09.37

Isis claims Manhattan attack: Saipov is 'our soldier'

Yesterday the statement on the Islamic group's propaganda site. The attack was a year in planning. Local imam: he knew his religion badly.

Tashkent (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Sayfullo Saipov, author of the October 31 attack, is a "soldier" of the Islamic State (IS). Al-Naba, the Isis propaganda site yesterday confirmed that "an IS soldier attacked the crusaders in a New York street." The bond with Isis had already been claimed by Saipov himself during his interrogation.

The Uzbek assassin in the United States since 2010 had confirmed his membership of the Islamist group in and has even asked to be able to hang the Isis flag in his hospital room. Saipov is "happy" about the attack, which was in planning for more than a year. He had chosen a truck with the intention of causing as many victims as possible.

Growing evidence points to Saipov’s progressive radicalization since arriving in the United States. The Uzbeki national attempted several jobs, first living in New York, then for three years in Ohio, Florida, and finally in Paterson, New Jersey. His last job: an Uber driver. The statements of those who knew him denote a radicalization that began in Ohio, then worsened during his time in Tampa, Florida, where he moved to 2013. The local imam told the New York Times that Saipov " he knew his own religion badly", and had a difficult temperament.

Saipov is charged with two counts of violence and vehicle destruction in support of a foreign terrorist organization. The charges he faces carry the death penalty, as confirmed by the prosecutor. The same US President Donald Trump threatened as much. But the state of New York does not foresee capital punishment: to apply it, the federal government would have to use an exceptional law, which could take years.

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