President Donald Trump stoked fears that the man responsible for Tuesday’s apparent terror attack in New York was a returned ISIS fighter.
‘We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!’ Trump tweeted Tuesday night.
Trump did not indicate where he was getting his information, though the 29-year-old driver of the rented Home Depot van who plowed into cyclists and joggers reportedly yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he emerged from the vehicle.
His actions have left at least eight people dead and more than a dozen injured.
‘In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person,’ Trump wrote at first. ‘Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!’
The Arabic slogan the suspected terrorist shouted translates roughly to ‘God is great,’ and is often a calling card for murderous Islamist radicals.
President Donald Trump has blasted a New York City attacker as ‘very sick and deranged’ following the death of at least eight people in lower Manhattan
‘NOT IN THE U.S.A.’ said Trump, casting the attack as an assault on all of America
Shattered bicycles lay on the West Side Highway bike path where riders were mowed down on Tuesday
A rented Home Depot truck that was driven through cyclists and runners on a bicycle path in lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon came to a stop after plowing into a school bus
In a statement to reporters, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump ‘has been briefed on the incident in NYC by CoS [Chief of Staff] Kelly and will be continually updated as more details are known.’
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke was briefed on the attack, the agency said.
‘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,’ a statement read.
Tuesday’s attacker carried a pair of imitation firearms – a pellet gun and a paintball gun. Police shot him in the abdomen and transported him to a local hospital.
First lady Melania Trump also used Twitter to offer prayers for New Yorkers
The truck driver is shown scampering through new York City with what the FBI said was a pellet gun and a paintball gun
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the attack, near the World Trade Center, ‘was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.’
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it a ‘lone wolf’ attack and said there’s no evidence to that it was part of a wider plot.
Witnesses on the scene said the man slammed into a school bus after he drove through a crowd of bicyclists. There were children on board; some of them are among the injured.
First lady Melania Trump also used Twitter to communicate with the American people.
‘My heart breaks for #NYC today,’ she wrote. ‘Thoughts & prayers as we monitor the situation.’
Two injured people were taken away from the scene in lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon
The truck mounted the bicycle path on the West Side Highway a few blocks north of Chambers Street in Tribeca in lower Manhattan
The president has sometimes described mass-casualty events as being related to mental illness.
Following a mass-shooting in Las Vegas four weeks ago, he told reporters at the White House that the attacker was ‘a sick man, a demented man, lot of problems I guess.’
‘We’re dealing with a very, very sick individual,’ Trump added then.