Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Trump orders more vetting after attack

FURTHER ENHANCEMENTS?Trump in March ordered the departments of state, homeland security and justice to adopt ‘enhanced’ measures for people seeking visas


US President Donald Trump ordered the US Department of Homeland Security to bolster the vetting of immigrants entering the US after an Uzbek man allegedly drove a truck down a bike path in New York, killing eight and injuring almost a dozen more.

“I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!” Trump said on Twitter on Tuesday night.

It was unclear what specifically Trump was ordering the department to do. Officials there referred questions to the White House, which declined to comment beyond a statement issued earlier in the day.

“My administration will provide its full support to the New York City Police Department, including through a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the statement issued in the president’s name said. “I will continue to follow developments closely.”

The New York Police Department said a driver steered a vehicle on to a bike path just north of Chambers Street in the Tribeca neighborhood and struck multiple people. The vehicle then continued south and struck another vehicle.

The president was briefed on the incident by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. White House officials did not comment directly on the investigation.

One of Trump’s top domestic priorities has been a crackdown on undocumented immigrants and a strengthening of screening procedures for foreigners seeking to enter the US.

A law enforcement official identified the driver as 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov.

He entered the country in 2010 and handwritten notes in Arabic found near his truck indicated allegiance to the Islamic State group, the New York Times reported, citing law enforcement officials.

Trump in March ordered the US departments of state, homeland security and justice to conduct a worldwide review of whether foreign nations should be required to provide additional information about people seeking to enter the US.

He also ordered the agencies to adopt unspecified “enhanced vetting protocols and procedures” for people seeking US visas, to prevent terrorists or people supporting them from entering, according to a memorandum describing the plan.

Shortly after the incident, Trump on Twitter condemned the attack.

“In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person,” Trump said. “Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference put the death toll at eight.

Police said there were also “numerous people injured.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said there was no evidence of a wider plot, attributing the attack to the “actions of one individual.”

Police said the suspect was in custody, adding that he was shot when he exited the vehicle while brandishing imitation firearms and is now in a hospital.

Officials said that information about the incident was preliminary and that more information was to follow.

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