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Bangladeshi immigrant convicted in New York City subway bombing

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A Bangladeshi immigrant convicted Tuesday of terrorism charges after setting off a pipe bomb in New York City’s busiest subway station at rush hour told the trial judge he was angry at President Donald Trump and didn’t carry out the attack for the Islamic State group.

The verdict against Akayed Ullah was returned in Manhattan federal court after a trial in which the defense maintained that he intended to kill only himself last Dec. 11. Nobody died, and most of the injuries were not serious.

After the verdict was announced and the jury left the room, Ullah spoke out, telling the judge: “I was angry with Donald Trump because he says he will bomb the Middle East and then he will protect his nation.”

Judge Richard Sullivan told him: “Right now is not the time for a statement.”

Ullah repeatedly told Sullivan he did not carry out the attack for the Islamic State group.
Sentencing was scheduled for April 5, when Ullah faces a mandatory 30-year prison sentence and could be sent to prison for life.

Prosecutors said he wanted to maim or kill commuters as part of a “lone wolf” terrorist attack on behalf of the terrorist organization. They disputed the defense claim, saying Ullah would not have worn a bomb had he wanted to kill only himself. They also cited social media postings by Ullah, as well as comments he made after his arrest to investigators.

The verdict capped a weeklong trial that featured surveillance video of Ullah the morning when his pipe bomb sputtered, seriously burning him in a corridor beneath Times Square and the Port Authority bus terminal, where most subway lines converge.

At trial, Ullah was confronted with his post-arrest statements and his social media comments, such as when he taunted Trump on Facebook before the attack. The president later demanded tightened immigration rules.

Authorities said Ullah’s radicalization began in 2014 when he started viewing materials online, including a video instructing Islamic State supporters to carry out attacks in their homelands.

In closing arguments Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney George Turner said Ullah told investigators after his arrest that he wanted to avenge U.S. aggression toward the Islamic State group and had chosen a busy weekday morning to attack so he could terrorize as many people as possible.

The prosecutor said Ullah, 28, of Brooklyn, followed the propaganda of the Islamic State group online and wanted to follow its instructions to carry out a “lone wolf” terror attack on Americans.

“His goal was to injure and kill innocent civilians, to terrorize,” Turner said.

The prosecutor said Ullah told an investigator after his arrest: “I did it for the Islamic State.”

Gallicchio, though, said Ullah purposefully chose an isolated corridor to set off his bomb because he only wanted to commit suicide.

“This is not a terrorist attack,” she argued.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Crowley disputed the claim.

“It was about martyrdom, not suicide,” she said.

Source: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/11/06/bangladeshi-immigrant-convicted-in-nyc-subway-bombing-2/

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Couple arrested in fatal 2016 attack on Long Island woman

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A former New York City correction officer and his 21-year-old girlfriend have been charged in the fatal beating of the woman’s mother on Long Island.

Nassau County police say 27-year-old Ralph Keppler and 21-year-old Francesca Kiel, both of Lynbrook, were arrested Sunday on murder charges.

Police say the victim, 56-year-old Theresa Kiel, was brutally attacked and struck in the face with a metal barbell at her apartment in Long Beach in December of 2016. She lost and eye and remained in a vegetative state until she died this Saturday.
Prosecutors had alleged the motive to be a business dispute.

Keppler had been charged back in January with attempted murder and assault and was out on bail. His lawyer says he’s innocent.

Information on Francesca Kiel’s lawyer wasn’t immediately available. Both Defendants were scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in First District Court in Hempstead.

Source: http://www.fox5ny.com/news/couple-arrested-in-2016-attack

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Woman Beaten in Subway Station by Man Yelling Racially Charged Words: Family, Police

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A woman was punched and stabbed when she got off the subway in Brooklyn by a man yelling racially charged words, her family and police said.

The victim, 57-year-old Ann Marie Washington, was hospitalized Sunday after having surgery for a collapsed lung due to the stabbing, her family told NBC 4 New York.

Washington, a mother of two, was on her way home from work Friday evening and had just stepped off the subway at the Church Avenue stop in Brooklyn when she was attacked, advocates said.

The man, who was white, punched her in the mouth and stabbed her in the chest while calling her a “black b—-,” advocates said. Washington, who is black, is a native of Trinidad.
The attacker fled on a Q train, police said. The victim said he appeared to be in his early 30s, about 5-feet, 3-inches tall, and wearing grey and black sweatpants and a black hooded sweatshirt.

Police didn’t initially call the attack a hate crime, leading to outrage from neighborhood advocates who held a news conference Sunday.

“If this was a white resident, a new gentrifier to this neighborhood, there would be swarms of cops here,” said Imani Henry of Equality for Flatbush. “But when it is a black person who is attacked by a white racist, there isn’t anything.”
Afterward, the NYPD said its Hate Crimes Taskforce would look into it. Police said they didn’t have all the details at the time the crime was reported.

Washington didn’t realize she had been stabbed until she got home, advocates said. Even then, she thought she had been scratched in the chest until she woke up the next morning, said Kenzia Bernard Nau, a witness and a neighborhood advocate.

Advocates said witnesses shot video and there should be surveillance video of the suspect, but police haven’t released it.
“The fact that the video isn’t out right now, this is completely insane,” Bernard Nau said. “This is going to keep happening.”

Source: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Woman-Beaten-in-Subway-Station-by-Man-Yelling-Racially-Charged-Words-Family-500238922.html

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It’s back: NYC’s rare Mandarin duck makes grand return to Central Park

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The Mandarin duck that has caused crowds of people from around the world to flock to Central Park has made its grand return after a brief disappearance.

The duck, native to Asia, was first spotted in the Central Park Pond at 60th Street and 5th Avenue on Oct. 10. Tourists and New Yorkers alike couldn’t resist the urge to see the bird for themselves and headed to the park in search of the rare bird.

After making appearances at multiple bodies of water in the area, some cried “fowl play” when the bird seemed to suddenly disappear earlier this week.

The NYC Parks Department released the following statement:

“While we are not tracking the Mandarin duck, we’ve noted that he’s appeared healthy and has regularly moved between water bodies in Central Park. We don’t know his exact location at this time. Almost all ducks migrate seasonally. While we’re happy to have had him visit our parks, it’s important to remember that at some point he may leave New York for warmer temperatures.”

As long as the duck doesn’t appear injured or in need of care, rangers will not make an attempt to capture it.

“While it’s exciting to spot such a rare bird in NYC’s backyard, like every other celebrity sighting, New Yorkers should know to give him space and not to disturb him,” Deputy Director of the Urban Park Rangers John McCoy said.

It remains a mystery how exactly the duck ended up in Central Park. There has been some speculation he may have formerly been a pet, but he has since effortlessly been adopted into the park’s urban flock.

By Thursday afternoon, social media was abuzz with the bird’s return to its home base in the park.

Source: https://abc7ny.com/pets-animals/its-back-mandarin-duck-makes-grand-return-to-central-park/4648131/

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