New York attack: Donald Trump uses terror killings to push scrapping of 'diversity visa lottery program'

'We will stop this craziness!' President tweets

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 01 November 2017 12:39
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New York terror attack: What we know so far

Donald Trump has blamed a lottery scheme for visa applicants for allowing the suspected New York terror attacker to enter the country.

The US President, citing unconfirmed reports about how Sayfullo Saipov, 29, entered the country, said: “The terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.

“We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter). @foxandfriends”.

“‘Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europes problems’ said Col.Tony Shaffer. We will stop this craziness! @foxandfriends”.

Just minutes before Mr Trump sent his first tweet, Fox News’ Fox and Friends programme had posted a clip of Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent, railing against the lottery scheme to its Twitter account.

The visa lottery makes available 55,000 immigrant visas, known as green cards, every year for people from countries with low rates of migration to the US.

Mr Saipov, an Uzbek national, entered the US legally in 2010. Officials have not said whether he came via the lottery scheme.

He was arrested after a truck ploughed through pedestrians and cyclists near the World Trade Centre in Manhattan on Tuesday, and then crashed into a schoolbus.

The rampage left eight dead and 11 seriously injured.

Uzbekistan said it was ready to do everything it could to help investigate.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev made the offer of help in a letter of condolence to Mr Trump in which he condemned the attack as “extremely brutal” and said there could be no justification for such violence.

The attack is a challenge for Mr Mirziyoyev who assumed office at the end of 2016 and is trying to slowly open up his country after decades of authoritarian rule.

It also shines an uncomfortable light on Islamist militancy in the wider region which has supplied Islamic State in Syria and Iraq with thousands of fighters.

Additional reporting by agencies

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