When 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov drove a van over a New York sidewalk yesterday, he left 8 people dead and 11 badly injured. The violent attack has now been classified as an act of terror by authorities, who claim Saipov had been planning the attack “for a number of weeks”, The Guardian reports.
New York police department deputy commissioner, John Miller, said police found notes at the crash scene that were written in Arabic and translated to ” the Islamic State would endure forever.” Referring to the Islamic State’s rules for enacting terror, Miller added that “[Saipov] appears to have followed almost exactly to a T the instructions that Isis has put out in its social media channels.”
Saipov was a legal resident of the United States, having immigrated from Uzbekistan in 2010 after winning a green card in the diversity visa program.
Responding to the event, President Trump declared he would tighten immigration laws even further. On Twitter, he said “The terrorist came into our country through what is called the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.”
He has since announced that work has already begun: “I am today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program,” The New York Times reports. “I am going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program. It sounds nice. It’s not nice. It’s not good.”
Trump also said he would toughen terrorist sentences, saying “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.”
A possible method would include sending terrorists to the American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where no one arrested on American territory has even been sent.