The truck driver, who killed eight and injured more people in a terrorist act in New York, was inspired by the Daesh Takfiri group to kill those celebrating Halloween, prosecutors allege.
Tuesday’s attack, marking the deadliest one in New York since 9/11, made US President Donald Trump describe the 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov as an "enemy combatant."
"I believe we would consider this person to be an enemy combatant," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during the Wednesday press briefing.
‘Saipov in Gitmo’
The president, who had earlier referred to Saipov as an “animal,”further speculated that he may send him to the Guantanamo Bay prison, also known as Gitmo.
"I would certainly consider it. Send him to Gitmo," he said earlier in the day. "I would certainly consider it."
"We have to come up with punishment that's far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now," Trump said. "What we have right now is a joke" before responding affirmatively when asked if he wanted the alleged assailant to be sent to the Cuban prison notorious for housing alleged terrorists and enemy combatants.”
South Carolina Republican Senator commented on trump’s off-the-cuff response to reporters, stating that sending a new inmate to the notorious prison is a “huge mistake.”
“It’s ridiculous to believe that one day of interviews in a hospital tells us all we need to know about Saipov’s terrorist ties,” Graham said.
‘Saipov in significant pain’
The US president also took the chance to signal his intention to” terminate the diversity lottery program."
Saipov who is an immigrant from Uzbekistan, was said to be a big fan of Daesh Takfiri propaganda.
Just over 24 hours after the deadly terror attack, Saipov appeared in civilian court, where David E. Patton, the chief federal public defender, said he remains in “a significant amount of pain.”
Patton also requested that he receive a change of clothes on a daily basis, referencing the wounds he sustained as he was engaged in the attack.
More Uzbek ties?
A second Uzbek has been tapped as a possible accomplice in the case.
Law enforcement officials found the man, identified as Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, 32, in New Jersey.
As an investigation was under way to get to the bottom of Saipov’s Uzbek ties, authorities alleged that his cellphone was replete with ISIL propaganda material, namely videos showing Daesh executions as well as thousands of images.
Saipov was inspired in particular by a video in which Daesh chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “questioned what Muslims in the United States and elsewhere were doing to respond to the killing of Muslims in Iraq,” according to the FBI.