Sayfullo Saipov, a 35-year-old Uzbekistan national and Islamic State supporter, has been handed multiple life sentences without parole for conducting the most lethal terrorist attack in New York City since 9/11.
Saipov killed eight people and injured twelve others in 2017, when he intentionally drove a rented truck into pedestrians and cyclists in downtown Manhattan. His sentence includes 10 life terms—eight to be served consecutively—plus an additional 260 years.
Despite facing survivors and victims’ families in court, Saipov demonstrated no remorse throughout the trial. The presiding judge, US District Judge Vernon Broderick, underscored Saipov’s “sheer unrepentant nature” during his sentencing on Wednesday.
At the attack’s culmination on Halloween 2017, Saipov, then shouting “God is great” in Arabic, was shot by police as he exited the vehicle. Earlier proceedings revealed he hoped the act would secure him a membership in the Islamic State.
He is set to serve his time at the high-security “supermax” prison in Colorado, where prisoners typically spend up to 23 hours per day in their cells.
Monica Missio, whose son Nicholas Cleves was killed in the attack, expressed her anguish in the courtroom. She said she was filled with rage at Saipov’s “barbarism and cruelty” and was disgusted he had the privilege of waking up each day when her son did not.
Rachel Pharn, a survivor of the attack, told Saipov that she could possibly forgive him for her own suffering, but not for the pain inflicted on others. “When I look around the room, when I think of all the pain you caused, that I cannot forgive. That is between you, them and Allah,” she stated.
The attack claimed the lives of five Argentinian tourists, a Belgian woman, and two Americans—a 32-year-old financial worker and a 23-year-old software engineer.
Despite Saipov’s apparent praise for the terrorist group before sentencing and his lack of remorse, he was spared the death penalty last week when the jury did not reach a unanimous agreement to impose it.