The extremist group Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the deadly New York terror attack earlier this week, which killed eight people in lower Manhattan.

The attack was carried out Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, who said he was inspired by ISIS. Saipov ploughed through pedestrians and bicyclists in lower Manhattan using a rented Home Depot truck.

"The attacker is one of the caliphate soldiers," ISIS said Thursday in its weekly Al-Naba newsletter.

Sayfullo Saipov
Sayfullo Saipov, the suspect in the New York City truck attack is seen in this handout photo released November 1, 2017Reuters

Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump on Thursday reiterated his call for a death penalty for the suspect. 

Trump had earlier suggested sending Saipov to the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, where terrorism suspects apprehended overseas are incarcerated, however he later said that doing so would be too complicated.

"Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the federal system," Trump said on Twitter.

"There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!" Trump wrote.

Donald Trump
US President TrumpReuters

Trump also called to terminate the popular green card lottery after it was revealed that the suspect had entered America under the same programme.

"I am starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery programme," Trump told reporters ahead of a cabinet meeting. 

"We need to make AMERICA SAFE!" the US President wrote on Twitter.

The visa programme, established by US Congress, is aimed at diversifying the US immigrant population and has its roots in efforts to bring more Irish and Italian immigrants into the United States. Under the programme, citizens of countries that send relatively fewer immigrants to America can enter a lottery which grants permanent US residency to winners.