Members of the New York City police department stand guard amid heightened security during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, U.S. September 18, 2017. .
(photo credit: REUTERS/STEPHANIE KEITH)
World leaders spoke out on Wednesday, voicing solidarity for the United States following Tuesday's shocking attack in New York City.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for US President Trump and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio after the deadly attack which left 8 dead. He stated, "together we will defeat terrorism."
Pope Francis condemned the recent deadly attacks in New York City, Afghanistan and Somalia, saying militants were abusing the name of God to justify their violence. "I am profoundly saddened by the terrorist attacks in these recent days in Somalia, Afghanistan and yesterday in New York."
United States President Donald Trump took a political stance, tweeting that he supports a merit based visa program and criticizing the current lottery-style visa program on Wednesday. The attacker arrived to the US from Uzbekistan through use of the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program."
Uzbekistan told the US president on Wednesday it was ready to do everything it could to help investigate an attack in New York in which an Uzbek-born man is suspected of killing eight people by mowing them down in a truck.
Uzbekistan spoke out after a US law enforcement official described the suspect as a US immigrant born in Uzbekistan, a landlocked, predominantly Muslim country in Central Asia that was part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev made the offer of help in a letter of condolence to Trump in which he condemned the attack as "extremely brutal" and said there could be no justification for such violence.
"From our side, we are ready to use all our power and resources to cooperate in the investigation of this terrorist act," Mirziyoyev wrote in the letter, which was posted on his country's Foreign Ministry's website.
"We express our solidarity with the US people."
The attack - the bloodiest single attack on New Yorkers since September 11, 2001, when suicide hijackers crashed two jetliners into the World Trade Center - is a challenge for Mirziyoyev who assumed office at the end of 2016 and is trying to slowly open up his country after decades of authoritarian rule.
It also shines an uncomfortable light on Islamist militancy in the wider region which has supplied Islamic State in Syria and Iraq with thousands of fighters.
An Uzbek Foreign Ministry official told reporters earlier on Wednesday it was investigating reports that the attacker was a citizen of the Central Asian nation.
If the attacker's identity is confirmed, it would be the fourth deadly attack to be carried out by an Uzbek national or ethnic Uzbek this year.
On New Year's day, an Uzbek gunman burst into a nightclub in the Turkish city of Istanbul and killed 39 people.
In April, an ethnic Uzbek man born in Kyrgyzstan blew up a metro train in the Russian city of St Petersburg, killing at least 14 people, and that same month an Uzbek man rammed a truck into a crowd in Stockholm, killing four people.
All the attacks were linked to or claimed by Islamic State.