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New York Attack Suspect Charged in US Federal Court; Trump Open to Sending him to Guantanamo Bay

Officials said in the court document that on Saipov’s cellphones they found about 90 IS videos with bomb-making instructions and showing beheading of prisoners and running them over with tanks.

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A Home Depot truck which struck down multiple people on a bike path, killing several and injuring numerous others is seen as New York City first responders are at the crime scene in lower Manhattan in New York, NY, Oct. 31, 2017.VOA

White House, November 2, 2017 : President Donald Trump has called the Uzbek immigrant arrested in Tuesday’s terror attack that killed eight persons an “enemy combatant”. However, prosecutors filed terrorism charges against him in a civilian federal court.

Acting federal prosecutor Joon Kim announced the filing of the charges in the civilian federal court  on Wednesday, hours after Trump said that he would be open to sending Sayfullo Saipov to the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, where terrorists captured abroad are tried by military tribunals.

At the start of a cabinet meeting, in reply to a reporter’s question about the possibility of Saipov being sent to Guantanmo, Trump said: “Send him to Gitmo — I would certainly consider that, yes.”

Sending Saipov, 29, a legal immigrant with a green card, to Guantanamo for a military trial may raise legal questions while labelling him an “enemy combatant” may open the way for this.

Guantanamo, known as Gitmo for short, is a US military base in Cuba — in territory under American control.

Saipov mowed down pedestrians and bicyclists with a rented truck on Tuesday. The rampage ended when the truck hit a school bus.

After he emerged from it brandishing two fake guns, a police officer shot and arrested him.

Six of those killed were foreign tourists. Twelve people were injured.

The initial charges filed against Saipov are only about providing support to a terrorist organisation, the Islamic State (IS), and operating a motor vehicle in a manner that caused a death.

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These charges were meant to hold him in custody. More serious charges about the killing of eight people and other actions were expected later.

New York state does not have death penalty but because he is charged in a federal court and not a state court, Saipov can face capital punishment under federal laws.

The court papers said Saipov told officials in hospital that he felt “good” about what he had done and asked them to put an IS flag in his hospital room.

He told the officials that he was inspired by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and had planned the attack more than a year ago, choosing Halloween day because he thought he could do the maximum damage then.

About a week before the attack, he told the officers, he had made a trial run of the area near the 9/11 memorial and had planned to continue his attack on the Brooklyn Bridge. But he could not because of the collision with the school bus.

Officials said in the court document that on Saipov’s cellphones they found about 90 IS videos with bomb-making instructions and showing beheading of prisoners and running them over with tanks.

Earlier at a news conference, New York Police Counter-terrorism Deputy Commissioner John Miller said Saipov “appears to have followed almost to a ‘T’ the instructions that IS has put out” for carrying out vehicle attacks. (IANS)

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US President Donald Trump Made Thousands of False Claims in Two Years

According to Fact Checker, there were only 82 days or about 11 per cent of the time that there were recorded no claims

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President Donald Trump speaks about American missile defense doctrine, Jan 17, 2019, at the Pentagon. VOA

Two years after taking the oath of office, US President Donald Trump has made 8,158 false or misleading claims, according to The Washington Post’s database.

The daily’s Fact Checker’s database analyses, categorises and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the President, it said in the report on Monday.

In 2018, he made an “astonishing” 6,000-plus such claims.

The President averaged nearly 5.9 false or misleading claims a day in his first year in office, but he hit nearly 16.5 a day in his second year, almost triple the pace.

The Washington Post started the Fact Checker online project as part of its coverage of the President’s first 100 days, “largely because we could not possibly keep up with the pace and volume of the President’s misstatements”.

The project’s interactive graphic displays a running list of every false or misleading statement made by Trump. A reader can also search for specific claims or obtain monthly or daily totals.

According to Fact Checker, the President in his first 100 days made 492 unsupported claims.

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FBI probed whether Trump was working for Moscow: Report. VOA

He managed to top that number just in the first three weeks of 2019.

Before the midterm elections in October, he made more than 1,200 false or misleading claims.

The biggest source of misleading claims is immigration, with a tally that has grown with the addition of 300 immigration claims in the past three weeks, for a total of 1,433, the Fact Checker said.

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In the President’s immigration address on January 19, the last day of his second year in office, there were 12 false or misleading claims.

According to Fact Checker, there were only 82 days or about 11 per cent of the time that there were recorded no claims.

“These were often days when the President golfed,” it added. (IANS)