Gitmo may gain a new resident, as President Donald J. Trump says he would consider sending suspected New York terrorist Sayfullo Saipov to the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
While the president was speaking to the press (see video below), he was asked if Saipov might be sent to the detention facility. The president said, “I would certainly consider that, yes. Send him to Gitmo.”
During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump said he would refill the military prison with “bad dudes” (video below).
Saipov, 29, is the Uzbekistan terrorist who ran over several pedestrians in Manhattan on Tuesday. Using the ISIS playbook, officials say Saipov planned the attack in advance. During a hospital interview, he reportedly told police that he would have continued his deadly assault on bikers and pedestrians if he had not crashed into a school bus.
Unapologetic for killing eight people and injuring at least 11 others, Saipov is reportedly proud of his crime. Police have located materials linking the terrorist to ISIS.
Reportedly, the president is being urged to treat Saipov as an enemy combatant. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) both say he deserves the designation and a trip to Gitmo.
However, Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano disagreed with sending Saipov to the detention facility. Speaking on Fox News’ “Outnumbered,” he said he “profoundly disagree[s]” with the president and others.
“About Gitmo,” Napolitano said Wednesday, “this person, as horrific as he is, is a lawful American resident. He has the same rights, except for voting and running for office, as the rest of us.”
Napolitano claimed that sending a lawful resident to a military prison would not be fair.
“There is simply no provision for terminating his Constitutional rights by putting him in the hands of the military and taking him to Gitmo,” Napolitano said. “If they send him to Cuba, it will be unfair, unlawful and unconstitutional.”
Saipov, who entered the United States in 2010 via the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, is currently in police custody, although he has not been charged. The FBI has taken over the investigations of the attack.
The prison at Guantanamo has been a source of controversy, as former President Barack Obama reduced the number of captives in the facility from 242 to 41 during his two terms in office. Although Obama had made shuttering the facility a central tenet of his 2008 election campaign, he was still working toward its closure eight years later, mentioning the facility in his final State of the Union Address in 2016.
Following the terror attack on Tuesday, President Trump also called for stricter immigration policies, denouncing the immigrant lottery system and saying he would be ramping up “extreme vetting” on Twitter.
I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
President Trump: “I would certainly consider” sending the NYC terror suspect to Guantanamo Bay https://t.co/55xmARiyIV
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 1, 2017