U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would consider sending the suspect in the deadly New York truck attack to the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
When asked by a reporter, Mr. Trump said he would “certainly consider” sending the suspect to the military prison, also referred to by the military acronym Gitmo.
“I would certainly consider this. I would certainly considering that sending him to Gitmo,” he said.
Mr. Trump further said his administration is coordinating with local and state officials to “further investigate this animal who did the attacking.”
New York police have identified Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek national who immigrated to the U.S. in 2010, as the suspect in Tuesday’s deadly attack. Mr. Saipov is accused of driving a truck into a pedestrians, killing eight people and injuring several others.
The president said that members of Mr. Saipov’s family “certainly could represent a threat” and vowed to end the immigration visa program under which he entered the country.
There are currently 41 men detained at the U.S. military facility in Guantanamo Bay. Many of the detainees have never been charged with a crime, while the suspects in the 9/11 attacks and U.S.S Cole bombing are currently undoing trial there in a fraught military commission process.
Mr. Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama tried to close the prison, saying its use in terrorist propaganda posed a national security threat, and terror suspects could be tried in the U.S., a suggestion many Republican lawmakers opposed. Five of the remaining detainees were approved for transfer by the Obama administration.
During the 2016 election campaign, Mr. Trump vowed to keep Gitmo open and fill up with “some bad dudes.”