By COLlive Reporter
Anti-terror activist Devorah Halberstam praised New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s response after Tuesday’s attack in Manhattan, as something she has been working towards for years.
On Tuesday, 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, driving a rental truck, plowed down people on a Manhattan bike path, killing 8 and injuring 11, before being shot and arrested by police.
Immediately afterwards, Mayor Bill de Blasio called the attack “a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.”
Wednesday, the Mayor held a press conference, and spoke definitively and clearly about what had occurred, calling it “an act of terror.”
“This was an attack on the United States of America, an attack on New York City, an attack on our people. And it was the definition of terrorism, an effort to take away people’s hope and spirit and to make them change,” the Mayor said.
“The attack yesterday was horrible. One death is too many,” Halberstam, an expert on terrorism and an adviser on terror issues to the FBI and NYPD, told COLlive.
Halberstam praised the Mayor and NYPD for their quick and resounding response to the terrorist attack.
“It was amazing that our Mayor called it without any hesitancy – he was definitive and clear,” Halberstam said. “That is the most important and significant statement in response to this terror attack. Never before have we had such clarity.”
Halberstam, whose son Ari Halberstam was murdered in a terror attack on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994, said the reality of terror is something she lives with every single day.
“Every attack is one I feel personally,” Halberstam says. “My fight has always been about calling terrorism what it is, without denial.”
Halberstam says we must “go back to the drawing board” and look at what we can do to prevent terror attacks in the future.
“We have to evaluate the lottery system that allowed this terrorist into our country. And as I will continue to say, there is no ‘lone gunman.’ The network exists,” she says.
“The elections are next week. Every person must know that every vote counts and they need to vote,” Halberstam points out. “Too many people stay home and think it’s not their problem. We can’t do this alone. The least people can do is take a tiny bit of time and help us do our job with the right representation in our city.”