A cyclist rides past flowers left on a bike path to pay tribute to the Oct. 31 terror attack victims, in New York, Nov. 2. Eight people were killed and 12 were injured on Oct. 31 afternoon when suspect 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov intentionally drove a truck onto the bike path in lower Manhattan. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
A domestically radicalized Uzbek man yelling ‘God is great’ plowed a pickup truck down a crowded bicycle path in New York, Oct. 31, killing eight people and injuring 12 others in the deadliest terror attack on the city since 9/11. President Donald Trump vowed that he will terminate the popular Green Card lottery after the deadly terror attack, writes Lalit K Jha.
It was the worst terrorist attack in the city since 9/11. Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant killed eight people in an ISIS-inspired assault in New York on Oct. 31, and was charged with terrorism offenses as authorities said he plotted the attack for months and chose to strike on Halloween to “inflict maximum damage against civilians.”
Saipov, 29, was charged with providing material support to the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group and violence and destruction of motor vehicles.
A 10-page complaint, filed by the FBI before a federal court in New York, against him, said:
‘He is so devoted to the ISIS that he wanted to display the terror group’s flag in his hospital room.
‘He planned to use the truck to hit pedestrians in the area where he carried out the attack and then proceed to the Brooklyn Bridge to continue to strike pedestrians.
‘Internet search history of the second cell phone reflects, among other things, that Saipov searched for a store in Passaic in New Jersey, Oct. 4, searched for Halloween in New York, Oct. 15, and searched for truck rentals, Oct. 18.
‘A handwritten document found near the scene had both Arabic and English text, and included the message that the Islamic State would endure.’
Eight people were killed and 12 others injured as his truck carved a path of destruction through several blocks of Lower Manhattan. Saipov crashed the truck into a school bus, left the vehicle, brandishing imitation firearms.
He was shot by police, but survived.
Saipov told investigators he was inspired by Islamic State videos, in particular one showing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
He began planning the attack a year ago and decided two months ago to use a truck, officials said.
During a search operation, federal officials obtained two cell phones from his possession. One cellphone contained approximately 90 videos and 3,800 images, many of which appear to be, ISIS- related propaganda.
“He appears to have followed almost exactly to a ‘T’ the instructions that ISIS has put out in its social media channels before, with instructions to their followers on how to carry out such an attack,” John Miller, New York Police Department commissioner for intelligence and counter- terrorism, said at a news conference.
In the vicinity of a place where Saipov was shot, he dropped the weapons, which appear to be a paintball gun and pellet gun, and a black bag.
Inside the bag, law enforcement officers recovered, among other things, three knives and a wallet.
Trump Calls for Death Penalty for NYC Terror Attacker
President Donald Trump called for the death penalty for the Uzbek immigrant accused of killing eight people.
‘SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!’ Trump tweeted, in reference to the FBI’s statement that the attacker Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov was inspired by the ISIS and “requested to display ISIS’s flag” in his hospital room.
In another tweet, Trump said, “Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system. There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!”
Trump had supported the idea of sending the suspect to Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention center in Cuba.
‘Presidents typically do not comment on pending criminal cases because of the potential impact their statements can have,’ CNN commented.
Trump said that it was “another attack by a very sick and deranged person” while extending his “thoughts, condolences and prayers” to the victims.
He also called for tougher “merit-based” immigration measures and vowed to do away with the diversity visa program.
“The terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program’… I want merit based,” he wrote on Twitter.
Hours after the terrorist attack, Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security for “extreme vetting.”
Modi, Trump Resolve to Fight Terrorism Together
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump have resolved to fight against the global scourge of terrorism together, the White House said, after Modi offered his condolences to Trump over phone following the New York terror attack.
Trump spoke with Modi and accepted his condolences following the Oct. 31 terrorist attack.
“The two leaders resolved that India and the United States will continue to fight together against the global scourge of terrorism,” the White House said.
Modi condemned the attack on Twitter – “Strongly condemn the terror attack in New York City. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased & prayers with those injured,” he tweeted.
Trump Vows to Terminate Green Card Lottery After NY Attack
Trump said the attacker, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, was allowed to enter the U.S. on a State Department program known as the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program.”
“I am starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program,” Trump told reporters ahead of a cabinet meeting.
“Today we mourn the horrifying terrorist attack in New York City just blocks away from the sight of the world trade center. The man drove a truck into a pedestrian bike path and murdered eight people and injured very, very seriously at least 11 more,” Trump said.
“All of America is praying and grieving for the families who lost their precious loved ones. Horrible Act. Our hearts break for them and we pledge to renew our resolve in their memory,” he said.
“My administration is coordinating closely between federal and local officials to investigate the attack and to further investigate this animal who did the attacking,” he added.
Trump continued: “We also have to come up with punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now.
“They’ll go through court for years. At the end, who knows what happens. We need quick justice, and we need strong justice. Much quicker and much stronger than we have right now. Because what we have right now is a joke, and it’s a laughing stock.”
“I’m going to ask Congress to immediately initiate or get rid of this program,” he said.
“And we want to get rid of chain migration. This man who came in, or whatever you want to call him, brought in with him other people. And he was the point of contact, the primary point of contact, for and this is preliminary, for 23 people who came in or potentially came in with him. And that’s not acceptable,” Trump said referring to the attacker.
“Send him to Gitmo, I would certainly consider that,” Trump told reporters.
He alleged that there are a lot of good bills that are being stopped by Democrats because they’re being obstructionists.
“Terrorists are constantly seeking to strike our nation and it will require the unflinching devotion to our law enforcement, homeland security and intelligence professionals, to keep America safe,” Trump said.
“We have to get much tougher and we have to get much smarter. And we have to get much less politically correct.
We’re so politically correct that we’re afraid to do anything,” he said.
The 1990 diversity visa program gives green card to people from countries from where they normally don’t have merit-based candidates.
The program aims to diversify the origins of people granted permanent residence — green cards — in the United States.
Trump said he wants to move U.S. immigration to a “merit-based system” and not allow immigrants to bring their extended families.
In a series of tweets, the president lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for opposing merit-based immigration system.
“Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europe’s problems.. We will stop this craziness!” Trump tweeted.
“We are fighting hard for merit-based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter),” he said.
Schumer, in a statement, said that it was too soon to politicize a tragedy.
“President Trump, instead of politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy, should be focusing on the real solution anti-terrorism funding which he proposed cutting in his most recent budget,” Schumer said.
“I’m calling on the president to immediately rescind his proposed cuts to this vital antiterrorism funding,” he said.
“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
New York has been largely spared from terrorism since nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attack.
Several Lawmakers Came Out in Support of Trump on the Issue
Congressman Mike Rogers said no amount of political correctness from Democrats and the liberal media elite would stop violent Islamic terrorists from trying to kill Americans.
“The attack in New York City yesterday is evidence that everything President Trump is advocating for is exactly right and needed. We must have extreme vetting. We must reform our broken immigration system especially by getting rid of the visa lottery program and chain immigration.”
Congressman Scott DesJarlais said that it was shocking that the country continued to ignore threats of Islamic terror.
“Federal authorities were aware of the attacker’s terrorist connections, before he rammed his truck into a peaceful crowd,” he said.
But, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) opposed Trump’s extreme vetting plans.
“Trump’s reaction to the tragedy in New York represents a trifecta of unconstitutional and wrong-headed policies. His call for more ‘extreme vetting’ and an end to the diversity visa program which will unfairly target Muslim and African immigrants would double down on his Muslim ban and anti- immigrant policies,” said ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero.
“Sending Saipov to Guantanamo or treating him as an ‘enemy combatant’ would violate due process and the rule of law. The FBI and our federal court system are more than capable of dealing with terrorism cases, and Guantanamo was shown long ago to be an epic failure. It’s a shame that Trump is using this attack as a platform for pushing his anti- immigrant, anti-Muslim agenda,” he said.