A pickup driver killed eight people in New York on Tuesday, mowing down cyclists and pedestrians, before striking a school bus in the city’s first deadly attack blamed on terror since September 11, 2001.
Eleven others were seriously hurt when the truck driver struck in broad daylight just blocks from the 9/11 Memorial, on the West Side of Lower Manhattan, close to schools as children and their parents geared up to celebrate Halloween.
“This was an act of terror and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Television networks identified the 29-year-old as an Uzbek citizen living in Florida who had recently been staying in New Jersey, where the truck was rented.
President Donald Trump denounced him as “very sick” and a “deranged person”.
Confronting what could be the most serious terror-related incident since taking power less than a year ago, the Republican commander-in-chief announced that he had ordered the Department of Homeland Security to step up his “extreme vetting program” on foreign travellers to the country.
The United States “must not” allow the militant Islamic State (IS) jihadists to “return, or enter” the country after being defeated overseas, Trump said, albeit as New York officials declined to link the assailant to a specific group. Agencies