“Every time we’re attacked, from this point forward, and this happened yesterday, we are hitting them 10 times harder,” Trump said.
“So if 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.
“Every time they hit us, and we know its ISIS, we hit them like you wouldn’t believe.”
The driver of the truck who mowed down cyclists and hit a school bus Tuesday, killing eight and injuring a dozen more, had videos and memorabilia of ISIS, and yelled “Allahu Akbar” during the incident, police said.
Suspect Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant, is charged with terrorism-related offences.
Trump reiterated his statements shortly after the Friday press conference on Twitter, though this time he said “much harder” instead of 10 times harder.
When asked if there was a new directive, officials from the Pentagon redirected the question to the White House.
They did say they have been continuing the fight against ISIS in nine countries, including Syria and Iraq.
“We have, and we will, continue to protect the U.S. homeland by striking ISIS, al-Qaida and other affiliated or like-minded violent extremist organizations wherever they are globally and at a time of our choosing,” Eric Pahon, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense, told Global News.
“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.”
Looking at the numbers, there hasn’t been a significant spike of airstrikes in the days following the attack.
According to daily reports from the DoD on targeted operations to defeat ISIS, there have been 24 air strikes on ISIS in the two days following the Halloween attack (13 on Nov. 2 and 11 on Nov. 1).
In the two days before that, there were 21 strikes.
Overall in October, there were about 533 strikes total, with an average of 17 a day. The most strikes per day occurred the weekend of Oct. 7-8, with 95 strikes over two days.
The U.S. Air Force has also carried out its first airstrikes against ISIS in Somalia on Friday according to locals, where the extremists are a growing presence.
In Iraq and Syria, ISIS has suffered major losses — and has been driven from more than 96 per cent of their territory in the countries.