CNN counterterrorism analyst: 'Don’t rush to judgment' calling NYC attack terrorism

CNN counterterrorism analyst: 'Don’t rush to judgment' calling NYC attack terrorism
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CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd warned Wednesday not to "rush to judgment" in labeling the attack in New York terrorism after a man plowed through a crowded bike lane with a truck, killing at least eight people.

"From an intel perspective, this lays out pretty flat to you. How do you see it?” "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo asked Mudd, a former FBI and CIA analyst and executive.

“Don’t rush to judgment here," Mudd said. "You see the public perspective, that’s not what you would have on the inside. The public perspective says, ‘Hey, he yelled "Allahu Akbar." He is a foreigner from central Asia. It must be terrorism.’ "

"There are a lot of layers to this," Mudd continued. "I want to look at the first layer of things like what does his phone say, what does his Facebook say.”

“And he leaves a note, which the reporting is, that was supposedly in English, supposedly said ‘I’m doing this as a supporter of ISIS.’ And he says what he says, and I know there is a whole debate about what that expression is supposed to mean within the nature of the faith of Islam versus how it is used by these terror guys. What else do you need to know?” Cuomo asked.

“I need to know a lot," Mudd replied. "His mental state, drug and alcohol abuse, what his family says, what his employers say."

"I need to take that timeline back. He’s been in the United States seven years. So, on the inside I’m just following the facts," he continued. "I’m not putting a phrase or a term on this guy. I’m just saying give me a couple of days to determine what the facts are. The public can make a judgment. I can’t do that yet.”

Mudd went on to add that he's "95 percent confident this is a terrorism case." But added that "there is a 5 percent piece where I say, ‘Just let me follow where this goes.’ Because when I talk to his family and they say, ‘You know, he lost his job last year,’ maybe he’s estranged from his family, you start to see there are other mental issues going on. Let’s understand them.”

The suspect in Tuesday's attack, 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, is a native of Uzbekistan who reportedly entered the United States in 2010 via a program that provides visas to people from countries with few immigrants here.

New York City Police Department Deputy Commissioner John Miller said in a Wednesday morning press conference that Saipov "did this in the name of ISIS" and had planned the attack "for a number of weeks."