MANHATTAN — The man accused of carrying out the worst terrorist attack in New York City since 9/11 planned to mow down even more civilians at the Brooklyn Bridge and said he "felt good" about his deadly West Side rampage — even asking if he could hang an ISIS flag from his hospital room window, federal court papers revealed.
On Oct. 22, more than a week before the attack, Sayfullo Saipov, 29, rented a vehicle from a Home Depot in New Jersey to “practice making turns with the truck in advance of his attack,” federal prosecutors said in a complaint filed Wednesday that charged the Uzbekistan native with providing support to ISIS and using a vehicle to kill, which can carry the death penalty.
Saipov chose Halloween to carry out the attack because he thought more people would be on the streets, prosecutors said.
“Yesterday afternoon a man consumed by hate and a twisted ideology attacked our country and our city,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim at a press conference announcing the charges.
“Using a rented a Home Depot truck as a weapon of terror, the man sped down the West Side Highway and then intentionally plowed his truck into a pedestrian walkway and bicycle path, hitting and running over people who were simply trying to enjoy a sunny afternoon in New York City."
Saipov killed eight people and injured a dozen others during the rampage before crashing his truck into a school bus at Chambers Street.
Responding NYPD officer Ryan Nash then shot Saipov after he ran out of his vehicle while carrying a paintball gun and pellet gun, yelling “Allahu Akbar,” officials said.
After he was taken to Bellevue Hospital, Saipov asked to display an ISIS flag in his room and said he “felt good about what he had done,” prosecutors added.
Investigators also recovered cellphones from a bag belonging to Saipov that contained about 90 videos and 3,800 images, many of which were “ISIS-related propaganda,” including clips of people being run over by a tank and beheaded, prosecutors said.
Police also found a note left in the truck written in Arabic with messages including “Islamic Supplication” and “It will endure,” which investigators said is commonly used to refer to ISIS.