Francesca Chambers, Daily Mail, December 12, 2017
President Donald Trump pledged to end chain migration and the visa lottery system on Tuesday in response to an attempted terror attack.
Trump recommitted to a total overhaul of the nation’s green card and immigration system in his first on-camera remarks on an explosion yesterday in Manhattan.
‘The lottery system and chain migration, we’re gonna end them fast. Congress must get involved immediately, and they are involved immediately,’ he said. ‘And I can tell you, we have tremendous support. They will be ended.’
The president was signing a bill that authorized more spending on the nation’s defense in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. He said the bill that allows for a larger military footprint could not have come at a ‘more opportune or important time’ in the context of the two recent assaults on New York.
‘These attacks underscore the dangers we face from around the globe,’ the president stated.
President Donald Trump pledged to end chain migration and the visa lottery system on Tuesday in response to an attempted terror attack
Democrats and Republicans are currently locked in a battle over government spending right now that Trump asked lawmakers to separate from a fight on the immigration system.
Some Democrats have said they will force a government shutdown if a long-term appropriations bill does not protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Trump’s reply has been that he will not accept legislation that deals with immigration until he gets the permission he’s seeking to restructure the system.
In addition to the funding he’s demanding for a border wall, Trump also wants the government to move to a merit-based immigration system to cut down on the number of people using familial ties as justification for their entry to the U.S.
Trump signed legislation on Tuesday that authorizes the Pentagon to spend more money on military aircraft, submarines and the soldiers themselves but does not deliver the money to the armed services. The funds themselves are tied up in the broader appropriations bill.
The military is further prohibited from receiving part of the money Trump approved today with the National Defense Authorization Act by a bill that was passed in 2011 that introduced the government sequester.
‘Congress must finish the job by eliminating the defense sequester and passing a clean appropriations bill. I think it’s going to happen. We need our military. It’s got to be perfecto,’ Trump said on Tuesday.
‘At this time of grave global threats, I urge Democrats in Congress to drop their shutdown threats and descend clean funding and a clean funding bill to my desk that fully funds our great military. Protecting our country should always be a bipartisan issue, just like today’s legislation,’ he added.
The U.S. must send a message to its allies, Trump said that ‘America is strong, proud, determined, and ready.’
‘And I might add, when we’re completed — and it won’t be that long — we will be stronger than ever before — by a lot,’ he said.
The bill he signed today, Trump said, will allow the U.S. to continue to ‘obliterate ISIS’ outside of Iraq and Syria.
‘They spread to other areas and we’re getting them as fast as they spread,’ he said as he boasted, ‘We’ve had more success with ISIS in the last eight months than the entire previous administration has had during its entire term.’
The White House said Monday in its first comments on the attempted New York City terror attack that it would ‘destroy the evil ideology that is behind ISIS’ and fully ‘eradicate’ it.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at the top of her press briefing that the officers who apprehended the would-be terrorist were heroes as she thanked them on behalf of the president, who had yet to personally speak out about the explosion that morning in Manhattan.
‘There is more work to be done on the ground in the shrinking ISIS-controlled areas, and the president’s plan to annihilate ISIS is moving forward,’ Sanders said. ‘We must also destroy the evil ideology that is behind ISIS and attacks like today’s. This ideology has no borders, but it must be eradicated.’
Sanders said that the U.S. and the coalition of nations it leads would ‘not stop until it is accomplished’ and that the attack underscores the need for the U.S. to ‘protect our borders’ and move to a merit-based system of immigration.
Hours later, just before close of business, Trump said in a White House statement that convicted extremists should ‘deserve the strongest penalty allowed by law, including the death penalty in appropriate cases.’ He also brought up and pledged to end chain migration.
A Bangladeshi man identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah was taken into custody yesterday morning with serious injuries after a pipe bomb he was carrying malfunctioned and exploded prematurely inside a Midtown Manhattan subway station.
Ullah is a Bangladeshi national who has been living in the U.S. for the past seven years. Fox News reported, and the White House has since confirmed, that the former taxi driver came to the U.S. on a F-4 visa, a preferential visa for those who have family already in the U.S.
His immigration designation is F-43, which means he claimed the right to a green card because he is the child of the brother or sister of a U.S. citizen and was under 21.
Ullah reportedly told the authorities that he was inspired to detonate a bomb in New York by ISIS.
Sanders could not say on Monday if he was radicalized before or after he came to the U.S.
It was the second time in two months that New York City was the target of a terrorist attack, and the first since President Trump sparked Muslim outrage around the world last week by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
A previous New York City attacker was awarded a visa through the country’s lottery system. Trump immigration changes, that are codified in a bill that’s been introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue in the U.S. Senate, would also get rid of that provision.
Trump had not spoken on camera about the attack that happened yesterday until mid-day Tuesday. He thanked the first responders to the scene local and federal law enforcement officers for their swift action.
‘They did an incredible job,’ he said.
Trump had tweeted on Monday about a New York Times story that claimed, among other things, that he drinks 12 diet cokes a day. And used his juice on Tuesday to berate a New York senator who said he should resign over allegations that he assaulted 16 women before he was president.
At a quarter to 5 pm, Trump released a statement via the White House press office that said the attack ‘once again highlights the urgent need for Congress to enact legislative reforms to protect the American people.
‘America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country,’ he said. ‘Today’s terror suspect entered our country through extended-family chain migration, which is incompatible with national security.’
Bangladesh is not on Trump administration’s list of countries whose residents require extreme vetting to enter America.
The president said in his Monday statement that the executive action, which the Supreme Court let take effect after several revisions, ‘is just one step forward’ and that is why Congress must move to a merit-based immigration system.
He also demanded that Congress increase the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
‘The terrible harm that this flawed system inflicts on America’s security and economy has long been clear. I am determined to improve our immigration system to put our country and our people first,’ he said. ‘Second, those convicted of engaging in acts of terror deserve the strongest penalty allowed by law, including the death penalty in appropriate cases. America should always stand firm against terrorism and extremism, ensuring that our great institutions can address all evil acts of terror.’
Pictured above is the ID photo the suspect was carrying around with him at the time
- Akayed Ullah moved to the U.S. from Bangladesh with his family seven years ago.
- He came to the U.S. on a F-4 visa, a preferential visa for those who have family already in the country, according to Fox News. He is now a legal green-card holder according to the New York Post.
- Bangladesh’s police chief said the suspect, who lived in Chittagong, had no criminal record and wasn’t on the radar of authorities.
- Ullah lived in Brooklyn and held a taxi license from 2012 to 2015, when it lapsed. It was for a livery service rather than a yellow cab.
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN that Ullah was ‘disgruntled’ and learned how to make the pipe bomb online.
- There are conflicting reports about where Ullah made the device.
- The New York Post say he constructed it at the electrical company where he worked, while a law enforcement source who spoke to the AP said he made it in his apartment.
- Law enforcement sources who spoke to Ullah at the hospital say he confessed to plotting the attack in retribution for recent actions by Israelis against Muslim Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
- Investigators have yet to determine an official motivation for the failed attack, but there have been reports that Ullah was inspired by ISIS.
- Law enforcement officials told the Associated Press he was not in direct contact with the terrorist group.
- So far, officials believe that Ullah carried out the attack as a ‘lone wolf’.
Law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that Ullah was inspired by the group, but not in direct contact with them. The attack is being celebrated on pro-ISIS ‘channels’.
So far, officials believe that Ullah carried out the attack as a ‘lone wolf’.
Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that the suspect ‘supposedly was setting the device off in the name of ISIS’ and that it was ‘definitely a terrorist attack, definitely intended’.
At a morning press conference, current NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said that the suspect ‘did make statements’ but that they are not going to comment on them yet.
Though it’s still early in the investigation, New York City officials say it was definitely an attempted terror attack.
‘This was an attempted terror attack and thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals,’ Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
CNN reports that it appears the Subway was not the intended target of the pipe bomb, and that it may have went off prematurely.
They also learned that the device was homemade and could have caused catastrophic damage if it went off as intended.
Commissioner O’Neill said that they have obtained CCTV footage of the attack, but they have not detailed yet what it shows.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the largest in the country and the busiest in the world — serving about 225,000 commuters a day.
It’s what’s known by law enforcement officials as a ‘soft target’ because it handles a lot of traffic but doesn’t have the same kind of security as a place like an airport.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a bombing in the subway is ‘one of our worst nightmares’ — but he said New Yorkers will get through this as they have before on 9/11 and even the most recent terror attack on Halloween.
‘This is the New York. The reality is we are the target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy and against freedom. We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbor and that makes us an international target.
‘We understand that anyone can go on the internet and download garbage and vileness on how to put together an amateur-level explosive device and that is the reality that we live with.
‘The counter reality is that this is New York and we all pitch together and we are a savvy people and we keep our eyes open and that’s what ‘see something, say something’ is all about. And we have the best law enforcement on the globe and we’re all working together extraordinarily well,’ Gov. Cuomo said.
Following the attack, police descended on two addresses connected to Ullah in Brooklyn — one in Flatlands and one in Kensington.
Police had cordoned off the block of East 48th Street in Flatlands where the alleged terrorist had been living and the bomb squad were on the scene.
Alan Butrico, owner of Locksmith hardware store on Avenue N in Marine Park, told DailyMail.com that a Bangladeshi family lives at the home the police had cordoned off. He said he believed three men, a woman and a child lived there and that there had never been any problems with them other than that they occasionally blocked his driveway.
Ally Mohammed, who works in the deli across the street, described the family as ‘very nice, hardworking people’. He said that the suspect’s mother came into his store and was very pleasant and that his father owned a grocery store in the area.
Mohammed said that he believed the suspect lived with his brother, sister-in-law and their child, of around four years old. He said that he believed the brother had finished college and had a job in the city.
He said he did not believe Ullah was married or had any children.
‘What he did has nothing to do with Islam, maybe he was brainwashed,’ Mohammed said
Kisslyn Joseph, 19, from Grenada, has been staying next door to the suspect’s home at her brother Kevin Alexander’s house.
She told DailyMail.com that she heard shouting from what appeared to be an argument on the phone inside the home on Sunday morning around 2am.
She said that the argument was in English but she was unable to hear what was being said.
Other neighbors also had negative memories of Ullah.
‘He was just nasty. We would tell him to move the car, he felt like he owned it,’ the owner of a hardware store who had previously fought with Ullah told CBS News.
‘I’ve seen him in the neighborhood walking around. Pretty much looks like he always has something on his mind. Never says hello, doesn’t talk to anybody,’ one woman said.
Social worker Michael, 35, was commuting from New Jersey to Brooklyn when the chaos unfolded.
He said: ‘There were people running from various angles and screaming that someone had a gun. People were saying ‘just run, just go’. Everyone was looking around confused.
POLICE ASK FOR PUBLIC’S HELP
Anyone with information on suspect Akayed Ullah is being asked to call the terror hotline at 888-NYC-SAFE
‘After a few minutes I think I heard another person say there was an explosion and that’s when people started to panic. There was a lot of chaotic shouting and screaming. I saw a guy spring past me and as people scattered the crowd began to hurry more and push through the doors.
‘There are escalators that lead outside and steps and people were running up to get outside. We are talking 50 or 60 people. People were running over each other at one point. It became like a domino effect as everyone tried to run through the doors.
‘We got out and I ran across the street to 41st. I could hear sirens going off and people were grabbing their phones and calling home. Everyone was quite panicked and shook up.’
He added: ‘It’s scary. I’m quite on edge now.’
Video from above the ‘Crossroads of the World’ showed lines of police and emergency vehicles, their lights flashing, lining the streets and no other vehicle traffic moving.
Everything around the Port Authority in the 42nd Street area was shut down while police investigated the bombing — a surreal scene of what would ordinarily be a bustling rush hour.
A spokesman for the Port Authority say they plan to have the transit hub up and running fully by the evening rush hour.
Mayor De Blasio said getting transportation up and running again was an important message to the failed terrorist.
‘We’re not going to allow them to disrupt us. That is exactly what they what and that is exactly what they are not going to get,’ he said.
While the suspect’s motivation has not been established yet, his alleged statements about ISIS and Bangladeshi background suggest he was motivated by extreme religion.
The attack also comes on the heels of a Muslim day of rage in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, last week where thousands of Muslims protested over President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The decision — which breaks with decades of tradition in international policy — has drawn widespread criticism from Muslims and Christians around the world.
Previous presidents have refrained from such direct involvement in the Middle East’s historic conflict but Trump proudly waded in. Moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a campaign promise which he now boasts about fulfilling.
This attack underscores the need for Congress to work with the President on immigration reforms that enhance our national security and public safety. We must protect our borders. We must ensure that individuals entering our country are not coming to do harm to our people and we must move to a merit-based system of immigration.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted Monday morning that the president had been briefed on the situation.
At an afternoon press conference, Sanders released a statement on behalf of the administration — saying this morning’s incident is a further example of the need for tougher immigration policies.
‘This attack underscores the need for Congress to work with the President on immigration reforms that enhance our national security and public safety. We must protect our borders. We must ensure that individuals entering our country are not coming to do harm to our people and we must move to a merit-based system of immigration,’ she said.
Monday’s explosion also comes a month after Sayfullo Saipov plowed through cyclists on the a cycle path in Tribeca.
The Uzbek national killed eight people in his rented Home Depot truck by mowing them down before crashing into a school bus. He injured another 12.
Saipov, 29, who was living in Paterson, New Jersey, was gunned down by a police officer and remains in custody.
After the attack, the dollar lowered but stock markets recovered when the situation had been contained.
The S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq indexes rose 0.1 to 0.3 percent when the main U.S. stock markets opened two and a half hours later.
The dollar slipped as far as 113.245 yen against the Japanese currency. The Swiss franc, a refuge at times of heightened risk, reached a high of 1.16755 francs per euro. .
‘We did see equities futures moving lower and it is not a surprise that we saw a move in crosses like dollar-yen,’ said CIBC’s head of currency strategy Jeremy Stretch. ‘There is a susceptibility, whenever there is a degree of uncertainty, for the usual suspects to react.’