Trump defends decision to charge NYC terror suspect in federal court
Nov 03 2017
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's comments about sending the NY terror suspect to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had only signaled his support, not indicated that he was advocating for doing that. The president is now hoping to end that visa programme.
Backing off his initial statement that he was considering detaining the suspect at America's most notorious prison, Trump said Thursday that Sayfullo Saipov instead should be executed through the civilian justice system, which historically has been delivered faster convictions than the military tribunal system.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, who was hospitalized after he was shot by a police officer and arrested, confessed to authorities that he made a trial run with a rental truck on October 22 to practice turning the vehicle and "stated that he felt good about what he had done" after the attack, the complaint said.
John Miller, deputy NY police commissioner for intelligence, said Saipov appears to have followed the instructions issued by Islamic State. Federal charges were filed Wednesday. "You'll never convince me that the best way to gather intelligence in this war.is reading them their Miranda rights".
During a speech Thursday morning in New York City that was scheduled before the truck attack, Attorney General Jeff Sessions seemed to offer a subtle hint to the president that terrorism suspects can face justice in federal courts.
The president has also said he would love to send the suspect to Guantanamo Bay.
Saipov did not ask for bail and was remanded to federal custody.
On Wednesday, Trump called the US justice system a slow-moving "joke" and "laughingstock" and said he would be open to seeing Saipov transferred to the USA prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where enemy combatants are tried by military tribunals.
He noted over 500 defendants have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes since the September 11, 2001, attacks.
But the president appeared to reverse course a day later, tweeting that "statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system". Two weeks ago, a jury took four hours to convict a man in a September 2016 bombing in New York City that wounded 30 people.