WASHINGTON — President Trump tweeted today that the truck attack on a Manhattan bike path “looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person.”
“Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!” he added.
He later tweeted, “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, “The president has been briefed on the incident in NYC by CoS Kelly and will be continually updated as more details are known.”
Eight people were killed and at least 11 injured — including two adults and two students on a school bus that the attacker crashed into — close to the World Trade Center as a driver plowed into bicyclists along the Hudson River.
Sayfullo Saipov, 29, from Tampa, Fla., was identified by ABC as the driver of the rented Home Depot flatbed truck. He’s reportedly of Uzbek origin and immigrated to the United States in 2010.
Police said after driving down the West Street pedestrian/bike path he jumped out of the cab brandishing two guns — a paintball gun and a pellet gun. He was shot in the abdomen and taken into custody.
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) October 31, 2017
New York Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said that based on the nature of the attack and statements the driver made after getting out of the truck, they were classifying the incident as terrorism. Witnesses reported the man shouting “Allahu Akbar” during the attack.
New York officials said they know of no continuing threat linked to today’s attack, but said security would be stepped up for the evening’s Halloween parade. Mayor Bill de Blasio also cautioned residents to be vigilant and report suspicious activity.
It’s the deadliest terror attack in New York since 9/11. The Department of Homeland Security said Acting Secretary Elaine Duke was briefed “on the apparent act of terrorism that occurred this evening in New York City” and DHS is “closely monitoring the situation and working with our federal, state and local partners in responding to and investigating this tragedy.” They referred all questions about the investigation to the FBI and NYPD.
“We have recently seen attacks like this one throughout the world. DHS and its law enforcement partners remain vigilant and committed to safeguarding the American people,” the department statement added.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) noted that as “one of thousands of New Yorkers who regularly rides on the path where this attack took place, I’m particularly grateful to the NYPD and first responders who work day in and day out to keep us safe, and to those that responded to the scene today.”
“As the investigation unfolds, it’s critical that we learn what we can from this incident and do everything we can to prevent this from happening again,” he added. “The scourge of terrorism is unfortunately still with us, and we must remain vigilant as ever.”