New York Truck Attack Suspect 'Enemy Combatant' - White House

Trump Says New York Suspect's Visa Was a 'Chuck Schumer Beauty'

The President's call to handle suspected attacker Sayfullo Saipov outside of the criminal justice system, combined with his vows to pursue more stringent immigration measures and dissolve a popular visa programme, suggested Mr Trump plans to respond forcefully to the worst major terrorist attack in New York City since 9/11 - and in a way that echoes former President George W Bush's fiercely contested response to the 2001 attacks.

The President described the suspect in custody, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, as an "animal", and hit out at the program Saipov reportedly used in 2010 to come to the United States, from Uzbekistan. The event spurred Trump to vow that he would end the Diversity Immigration Lottery program.

"The terrorist came into our country through what is called the 'Diversity Visa Lottery Program, ' a Chuck Schumer beauty", Trump tweeted Wednesday. "Send him to Gitmo", the president added, using the prison's nickname.

In an afternoon press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration now considers Saipov an "enemy combatant".

"We are so politically correct, we are afraid to do anything", Trump said.

"We also have to come up with punishment that is far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now", the president said. We need quick justice and we need strong justice.

In July, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions travelled to Cuba to gain "an up-to-date understanding of current operations" at Guantanamo Bay, calling the prison he has called a "perfectly acceptable" place to detain new terrorism suspects as opposed to holding them in the U.S. and having his own Justice Department try them in civilian courts.

McCain (R-Ariz.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, agrees with Graham that Saipov should be treated as an enemy combatant.

The White House on Wednesday said it sees the perpetrator of a deadly attack in NY an "enemy combatant", opening the door to his detention without normal rights.

Forty-one detainees now remain at Gitmo, though the facility hasn't accepted any new prisoners since 2008.

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