Hours after US President Donald Trump labelled the New York truck attacker Sayfullo Saipov an "animal", he called for the Uzbek national to be sentenced to death. Trump took to his favourite social media platform and shot another 'tweet-missile' saying Saipov "should get death penalty", in all caps.

Saipov, 29, ploughed a rented Home Depot truck into a crowded cycle path in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people and leaving several others injured. The incident is the worst terror attack New York has witnessed since 9/11.

Late on Wednesday, 1 November (local US time), Trump wrote on Twitter, "NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!"

A few hours before that, Trump criticised the US justice system for being too lenient on terror suspects. He went on to call the American criminal justice system "a joke and a laughing stock".

"We need quick justice and we need strong justice — much quicker and much stronger than we have right now — because what we have right now is a joke, and it's a laughing stock," the US president had said in a televised cabinet meeting.

In a typical damage control effort, which has become characteristic of the Trump presidency, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later explained Trump's frustration with the justice system.

When questioned about why Trump said exactly what he had said, Sanders clarified, "That's not what he said. He said that the process has people calling us a joke and a laughing stock.

"Particularly for someone to be a known terrorist, that process should move faster. That's the point [Trump] is making. That's the frustration he has," she added.

The president had earlier told reporters that he would even consider sending Saipov to the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison.

Saipov has now been formally accused of killing eight people as well as injuring others, and providing material support and resources to the Islamic State (Isis). He appeared in front of a federal court in a wheelchair but did not enter a plea. Investigators say Saipov was inspired by Isis videos.

New York Truck Attack
The Home Depot truck, which struck down multiple people on a bike path, is seen as New York City authorities inspect the crime scene in Lower Manhattan REUTERS/Brendan McDermid