There was little surprise that the suspect in New York's deadly truck attack came from Uzbekistan, as the country has sent thousands to fight alongside ISIS in the Middle East, House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul said Wednesday.
"We usually look at Iraq and Syria, Afghanistan," the Texas Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "Uzbekistan has sent thousands of fighters to the region in Afghanistan and Syria to fight alongside ISIS, so I wasn't that much surprised."
McCaul said that he saw an ISIS post on Wednesday praising the attack and calling on its followers to not allow the death of Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, the ISIS spokesman who was killed in 2016, to stop its efforts to stage backyard attacks.
"This will be an ongoing threat that we face," said the lawmaker. "It is sort of diminished to vehicles and knives. Explosive devices still worry me and laptops on airplanes can be turned into bombs.
Tuesday afternoon at just after 3 p.m., while nearby schools were releasing students, the suspect Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, drove a pickup truck that he'd rented from a nearby Home Depot nearly a mile on a bike trail in Manhattan, killing eight people and seriously injuring a dozen more.
Saipov was shot and wounded by police after he crashed into a school bus and then got out of the vehicle with two imitation guns, shouting, "Allahu Akbar", or "God is Great," in Arabic.
Authorities said Saipov is showing no remorse for the attack but instead is bragging about his actions.
The Manhattan attack marks the ninth vehicle attack since ISIS called for people around the world to "kill in your backyard by any means necessary," said McCaul.
"So this was the new sort of chapter of terrorism that we're seeing in the United States," said McCaul. "I think it's fortunate we haven't seen as many in the United States as we've seen in Europe, Tragically what happened yesterday was a horrible event that I think we need to take time to mourn and respect what happened and then we'll deal with the policy."
McCaul said he also is concerned that Americans who have traveled overseas to fight and train with ISIS can return to the United States.
"We've had a couple of hundred leave the United States, and have had some come back," he said. "We are monitoring those foreign fighters. I think the greater threat is where you have somebody who in a matter of months goes from a flash to a bang in New York City."
Further, the lawmaker said he thinks technology companies like Facebook and Twitter have a "moral responsibility" to take down jihadist material from their websites.
"Osama Bin Laden didn't use the internet," he said. "ISIS, they do. They're a new generation of terrorists, and I think we need to start looking at the internet and taking their power away from them."
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