Sessions Talks National Security In Wake Of Lower Manhattan Terror Attack

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed confidence Thursday in the ability of the justice system to prosecute people facing terrorism charges.

Sessions spoke Thursday at a federal prosecutor’s office near the scene of the Lower Manhattan terror attack that left eight people dead on Tuesday.

“This week’s deadly incident, the deadliest attack in New York since 9/11, is another reminder of the dangerous threats we face from radical Islamic terrorism and the kind of threats we’re seeing nationwide,” Session said.

He also says the United States won’t hesitate to use Guantanamo Bay when warranted.

“Terrorists should know this: This administration will use all lawful tools at our disposal, including prosecution in Article III courts and at Guantanamo Bay,” Sessions said.

Sessions said at present, the FBI has terrorism-related investigations in all 50 states, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.

“We have gotten results, we have made progress but we can’t possible identify all attacks in advance,” he said.

Sessions said the president wants to stop the flow of dangerous people into this country with extreme vetting and a merit-based system of immigration and he wants tech companies to cooperate, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.

“Over just the past year, the FBI was unable to open access to nearly 7,500 mobile devices” with court orders, Sessions said.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would consider sending Sayfullo Saipov to Guantanamo Bay. But that avenue appeared closed after prosecutors brought terrorism charges against the Uzbek immigrant.

The president took to Twitter Thursday morning, saying he would “love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system.”

“There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed,” he said in another tweet. “Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!”

Trump has also called for eliminating the 1990s visa lottery program that Saipov used to come to the U.S. in 2010.

Authorities say Saipov drove a rented pickup truck down a bike path in Lower Manhattan Tuesday afternoon, plowing into bicyclists and pedestrians for an entire mile before crashing into a school bus.

Eight people were killed and 12 others were injured. Saipov was shot by an NYPD officer after he jumped out of the truck with two air guns.

Saipov later told investigators that “he felt good about what he had done,” prosecutors said in court papers. Questioned in his hospital bed, Saipov said he had been inspired by ISIS videos and began plotting an attack about a year ago, authorities said.

He appeared before a federal judge Wednesday night to face charges that include providing material support to a terrorist group.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Watch & Listen LIVE