US Tightens Travel Checks After NYC Attack

November 01, 2017

Eight people died and 11 others were seriously injured on Tuesday after a man driving a pickup truck plowed through people along a busy bicycle lane in New York City before hitting a school bus, officials said. The incident occured in lower Manhattan shortly after 3 p.m. local time (1900 UTC) near West Side Highway and Chambers Street. The driver, a 29-year-old man, was shot and then taken into custody by police. Police opened fire after he exited the rental truck armed with a paintball gun and a pellet gun. He is expected to survive. Two adults and two children traveling in the school bus at the time of the crash were among those injured. Five of the victims killed in the attack came from Argentina, its embassy said. US media identified the driver as Sayfullo Saipov, saying he was an Uzbek national who arrived in the US in 2010. The police said that there were no "outstanding" suspects. Notorious tabloid New York Post said he was an Uber driver.

Act of terror

US President Donald Trump condemned the attack and ordered newly tightened security checks on immigrants be strengthened even further. He indicated the incident was a terror attack linked to "Islamic State." "We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!" the president wrote on Twitter. "I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!" Trump also released a statement expressing thanks to the first responders "who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack. These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident "an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians." Anonymously quoted police officials told the Associated Press the suspect had shouted "Allahu Akbar" after exiting the vehicle. Police Commissioner James O'Neill told journalists that the method of attack and the suspect's statement enabled officials "to label this a terrorist event." New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called it a "lone wolf" attack, saying there was no evidence of a wider plot. A spokesperson for the US Department of Homeland Security said it was an "apparent act of terrorism."


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