Trump says New York attacker 'very sick,' 'deranged'

The scene of a pickup truck attack in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 31, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media.
The scene of a pickup truck attack in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 31, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media.
Image: FACEBOOK/CHRIS LANDRY via REUTERS

President Donald Trump decried an apparent terror attack that killed eight people in his hometown of New York on Tuesday as an act of madness.

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

Early eyewitness reports suggested the attacker plowed into cyclists and pedestrians in Lower Manhattan and shouted "Allahu akbar" ("God is greatest" in Arabic) before being shot by police.

If confirmed, it would be the first act of terror since Trump came to office, although there have been several mass shootings and politically motivated murders.

Trump came to office vowing to be "tough" on what he dubbed "radical Islamic terrorism."

He has curbed the number of migrants and refugees coming into the country, particularly from Muslim-majority nations, despite experts saying they pose almost no risk to Americans.

According to a 2016 CATO study, the chance of an American being killed at home in a terror attack committed by a foreigner is one in 3.6 million or one in 3.64 billion for foreign refugees.

The White House has nonetheless vowed to fight rulings against its ban on travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

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