Yesterday afternoon, eight people were killed in a senseless terrorist attack in New York City. Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, drove a rented Home Depot pickup truck down the Hudson Street bike lane running parallel to the Hudson River. Another dozen people were injured during the attack.
In the wake of the event, New Yorkers have taken to social media to respond to the act of terror. Many, including those from outside the city, are using the hashtag #NYCStrong to share their support and love. Unfortunately, we’ve seen similar hashtags in our recent past after terror struck Newtown, Boston, Orlando, San Bernardino, and Las Vegas, to name a few.
Five of the victims were Argentine friends who were in Manhattan celebrating their 30th high school reunion. Another was a Belgian mother of two. The last two victims were U.S. citizens, local to the area.
Saipov, who immigrated to the U.S. legally in 2010, supposedly carried out the attack in the name of ISIS. Today, the rest of the world joins New Yorkers as they mourn the loss of those eight victims and pray for the recovery of those who were injured.
New Yorkers stayed strong and fearless hours after the attack by continuing on with their Halloween festivities.
And others reminded us that we must not let fear trigger Islamophobia. An individual is responsible for the attack, not his entire religion.
Bipartisan politics and arguments regarding immigration laws have already flared up in response to the attack. President Trump called the American justice system “a joke” and threatened to send Saipov to Guantánamo Bay during a press conference today. No one arrested on American soil has been sent to Guantánamo since 2008.
But let’s put politics aside for a moment and remember the lives lost yesterday afternoon. We stand with New York and with the families who lost their loved ones.