Frank James, the 63-year-old man who shot and wreaked havoc on a crowded New York subway train on April 12, finally pleaded guilty to terrorist acts in federal court on Tuesday and faces life in prison. .
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During a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn, this New York native answered "guilty" to ten counts of "terrorist attack in a public transport system", as many victims affected by his shooting , as well as another indictment for having “opened fire during an act of violence”.
He had previously pleaded not guilty.
Dressed in a khaki shirt, with a bald head, he explained that he had shot to cause "serious physical injury" and that he was aware that he could have killed even if it was not his intention. Without giving any justification for his actions, he assured that he would express his "regrets" during the hearing where his sentence will be fixed.
On April 12, 2022, during early morning rush hour, the suspect, wearing a gas mask, set off two smoke devices in a crowded subway car in Brooklyn before firing a pistol.
The authorities had spoken of a miracle, because there had been no death. But the attack, which left 30 injured, including 10 by bullets, caused a stir.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland welcomed the guilty plea, saying his office was working "tirelessly to hold accountable those who engage in mass violence and terrorize our communities."
Frank James had been arrested without resistance in Manhattan after a manhunt lasting more than 24 hours. His possible motives remain to be clarified. Known to the police, Frank James hosted a YouTube page, called "prophetoftruth88" (prophet of truth), where he was seen launching into long tirades, sometimes rambling and vehement, on racial issues and insecurity in New York. .
The shooting had brought back to the center of attention the issue of insecurity in the New York subway and in the megalopolis of more than 8 million inhabitants, which had seen crime rise after the COVID-19 pandemic, far however, levels of the 1990s and 2000s.