WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump claimed Friday morning that the United States military is hitting ISIS “much harder” after an alleged ISIS-inspired attacker drove a truck down a bike lane in New York, killing eight, though he didn’t provide any evidence.
Trump, in a series of tweets ahead of his five-country, 12-day trip to Asia, labeled the accused attacker, 29-year-old Uzbek national Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a “Degenerate Animal.”
“ISIS just claimed the Degenerate Animal who killed, and so badly wounded, the wonderful people on the West Side, was ‘their soldier,'” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Based on that, the Military has hit ISIS ‘much harder’ over the last two days. They will pay a big price for every attack on us!”
ISIS claimed some responsibility Thursday for the attack, labeling Saipov a “Soldier of the Caliphate” in the group’s weekly newspaper, al-Naba. ISIS did not provide any credible evidence that it had knowledge of the attack before it happened or that ISIS was involved in planning, and the article did not name the attacker.
Trump did not explain the nature of what he said was the increased military action. According to data from the United States Central Command, the US launched 11 airstrikes on November 1 and 13 strikes on November 2 against ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
Those numbers are consistent with the airstrikes launched against ISIS before the attack. According to CENTCOM, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes on October 26, eight strikes on October 27, eight strikes on October 30 and 13 strikes on October 31.