— -- President Donald Trump suggested today that the United States military will hit the terrorist group ISIS "10 times harder" after a driver killed eight people on a bike path in lower Manhattan Tuesday.
The suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, was allegedly inspired by ISIS videos, according to the criminal complaint filed against him. He was charged Wednesday with providing support to ISIS.
President Trump referred to Saipov as "an animal" this morning as he took questions from reporters before departing for Hawaii and a 13-day, five-nation tour of Asia.
"When we have an animal do an attack like he did the other day on the west side of Manhattan, we are hitting them 10 times harder," Trump said. "They claimed him as a soldier - Good luck. Every time they hit us [and] we know it's ISIS, we hit them like you folks won't believe."
It’s unclear what military action, if any, Trump has authorized specifically in response to the New York City attack.
A spokesman for the Pentagon would only say that the U.S. military continues to strike ISIS "hard and often."
“We have, and we will continue to strike ISIS hard and often, along with Al-Qaeda and other affiliated or like-minded violent extremist organizations wherever they are globally. We are fighting and killing ISIS in operations in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Philippines, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, the Sinai in Egypt and wherever these groups emerge," Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway told ABC News.
Trump echoed the sentiments he made in his tweets Friday morning.
On Thursday, ISIS claimed Saipov to be “one of the soldiers of the Islamic State.”
He allegedly shouted “Allahu akbar,” which means “God is greatest” in Arabic, after intentionally driving a rented truck into bystanders, according to the New York City Police Department. Police said Saipov also left a handwritten note in Arabic saying that ISIS “would endure forever” at the crime scene.