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Suicide attempt or terror try? Brooklyn man’s life hangs on that question

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akayed ullah

A Bangladeshi immigrant who set off a pipe bomb in a Times Square-area subway station at rush hour was on a suicide mission to kill only himself, a defense lawyer told jurors in a closing argument on Monday, contesting claims by prosecutors that he’s a terrorist.

“He wanted to die. He wanted to take his own life and only his life,” attorney Amy Gallicchio said of Akayed Ullah, 28, of Brooklyn. “This is not a suicide bombing. This is not a terrorist attack.”

Gallicchio spoke after Assistant U.S. Attorney George Turner said Ullah sought “to inflict maximum damage, to terrorize Americans.”
Turner said Ullah purposely chose morning rush hour last Dec. 11 in the city’s busiest subway station to maximize casualties.

The failed pipe bombing occurred in a pathway linking the subway to the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan. The subway is beneath the busy Times Square area where many trains are linked.
The bomb fizzled, burning Ullah but sparing nearby pedestrians from life-threatening injuries.

The prosecutor said Ullah 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.”

Authorities say Ullah’s radicalization began in 2014 when he started viewing materials online.

Gallicchio agreed Ullah opposed the U.S. government’s policies toward Muslims and the Middle East. But she said he did not try to set off his pipe bomb when he was on crowded subway cars with hundreds of people.

Instead, she said, he waited until he was in a largely isolated corridor, where it was caught on a security video stream that was shown to jurors.

“It was a disturbing act by a disturbed man,” Gallicchio said. “This is not a lone-wolf attack.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Crowley countered Gallicchio’s argument by saying Ullah would not have chosen to use a bomb if he only intended to kill himself.

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

“This is not a close case. You know what happened. The defendant carried out a terrorist attack for ISIS,” Crowley said, using the acronym the government sometimes uses to refer to the Islamic State group.

If convicted, Ullah could face life in prison.

Authorities have said Ullah taunted President Donald Trump on Facebook before the attack. The Republican president later demanded tightened immigration rules.

Source: https://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2018/11/suicide_attempt_or_terror_try_brooklyn_mans_life_hangs_on_that_question.html

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9-year-old genius to graduate university

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Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne

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Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Source nydailynews.com/

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