President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the U.S. “must not allow ISIS to return” following the New York attack where a motorist killed over eight pedestrians and cyclists. The act is currently being investigated as a terrorist attack.
“We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”
Trump also tweeted that he had urged the Department of Homeland Security to introduce tougher vetting procedures, The Hill reports. The White House has already taken steps to strengthen its immigration restrictions. This was done in an attempt to realize the president’s vow to implement an “extreme vetting” policy.
“I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!”
Even though reports do not associate the attack with any terrorist group, notes in Arabic were allegedly found at the scene by investigators. The 29-year-old attacker used a rented vehicle to drive into a bicycle lane near the World Trade Center memorial. Officials say the driver got out of the truck and started shouting “Allahu Akbar!”
The attacker was then taken into custody, after being shot by the police, and was identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, who had legally lived in the U.S. since 2010. His condition is critical, according to The New York Times.
The Trump administration announced afterward that a joint investigation was opened by the FBI and the New York Police Department. The mayor of New York called the attack an “act of terror and a cowardly act”. Others as well condemned the attack.
Both the president and the first lady extended their condolences to the victims on Twitter. Trump called the incident “another attack by a very sick and deranged person”. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said their “thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.”