Donald Trump to consider sending NY attacker to 'Gitmo'

by Garry Watts November 5, 2017, 0:58
Donald Trump to consider sending NY attacker to 'Gitmo'

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would consider sending the suspect in the NY bike path attack to the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Saipov appeared in court Wednesday in a wheelchair with his hands and feet shackled.

Trump's first comment came around midnight, a few hours after prosecutors filed federal terrorism charges against Saipov, a 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan.

Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to the Islamic State jihadist group.

On Wednesday, Trump called the U.S. justice system a slow-moving "joke" and "laughingstock" and said he would be open to seeing Saipov transferred to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where enemy combatants are tried by military tribunals.

In the course of that interview, the complaint said, Saipov told investigators he was inspired by Daesh videos he had watched on his cellphone, chose Halloween for the attack because he believed more people would be on the streets, and had originally planned to strike the Brooklyn Bridge as well as the bike path.

Tuesday's attack injured 12 people, some critically, in addition to those killed.

Trump expressed his feelings late Wednesday, tweeting that "NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room".

Federal prosecutors say Saipov was "consumed by hate and a twisted ideology".

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had located another Uzbek man, Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, 32, as a person of interest in the attack.

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Trump tweeted Thursday that there is "also something appropriate" about keeping Saipov "in the home of the awful crime he committed".

The US president has shared his views on the possible punishment for the NY attack perpetrator.

Declaring Saipov an enemy combatant would have allowed investigators to interrogate him without having a lawyer present. "But he wasn't necessarily advocating for it, but he certainly would support it if he felt like that was the best move", said Sanders when asked whether Trump has the authority to send any prisoner to the military prison.

Five of the eight people killed in the attack were part of a group from Argentina celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation.

The diversity program, signed into law in 1990 by Republican President George H.W. Bush, was created to provide more permanent resident visas to people from countries with low U.S. immigration rates.

New York City police earlier in the day said that Saipov had carried out the attack according to instructions he found posted online by Daesh, on whose behalf he claimed to have acted.

"I'm dumbfounded as to why the Trump Administration still follows the Obama playbook when it comes to dealing with terror suspects", Graham said in a statement, which echoed comments he made on Wednesday.

Beyond criminal cases, some judges are taking account of Trump's tweets and other seemingly unscripted remarks to assess the motivations behind policies, including a ban on visitors to the United States from several mostly Muslim countries and a ban on transgender members of the military.

Miller said Saipov had never been the subject of a criminal investigation by the FBI or NY police, but appears to have links to people who have been investigated.

Columbia Law professor Matthew Waxman served in the Bush administration and specifically worked on Guantanamo Bay detention, and largely agreed with Vladeck that detaining Saipov would probably accomplish more harm than good.


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