al-Zawahiri appointed as al-Qaeda leader

The new chief of al-Qaeda is announced today. This may bring about fresh terrorist attacks around the world. We must find him and do the right thing, before he begins his killing spree.

Bin Laden was killed by US forces in Pakistan in early May.

New Chief of al-Qaeda

In the statement, al-Qaeda “announces that Sheikh Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, may God guide him, assumed responsibility as the group’s amir [leader]”. It warned it would continue to fight a jihad or holy war against the US and Israel under his direction. Zawahiri is believed by some experts to have been the “operational brains” behind the 9/11 attacks on the US.

He was Bin Laden’s deputy for years and warned just over a week ago that Bin Laden would continue to “terrify” the US from beyond the grave. For years security analysts have suggested Zawahiri is most likely to be hiding in the Afghan-Pakistan border region. However, Bin Laden and other key militant leaders who were also believed to be concealed there have instead been discovered in Pakistani towns and cities.

“Al-Qaeda said that he was in charge, he took credit for attacks (like that over Detroit); he was not in a cave or some remote area but in a major town where couriers came and went,” he says. “The conventional wisdom was just plain wrong and based on wishful thinking.”

 Referring to Ayman al-Zawahiri, whom many regard as effectively Bin Laden’s number two, Mr Riedel says that “he is also very active and if he is not found soon, will recreate the same central command post”.

Thai Teen Ager to Receive Donation!

The south entrance of Ang Mo Kio MRT Station (...

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The family of Thai teen Nitcharee Peneakchanasak who was hit by an MRT train will receive $250,000 in donations from the Singapore Red Cross Society on Thursday.

The sum which was contributed by a group of anonymous donors is meant to support the teen’s future medical expenses, which include the cost of her rehabilitation programme.

In April, Nitcharee, 15, had fallen onto the train tracks of Ang Mo Kio station and both her legs were crushed by the incoming train.

A spokesman for the Singapore Red Cross Society said that the donations did not come from fund-raising efforts, reported The Straits Times. Instead, the society was approached on Wednesday morning by the anonymous donors. “The amount comes from a group of donors who approached the society and asked if we could pass on the money to our Thai counterparts with whom we work very closely,” she said.

The cheque will be presented to Thai Princess Maha Chakir Sirindhorn by Singapore Red Cross chairman Tee Tua Ba on Thursday afternoon, and the sum will be given directly to the girl’s father. Since arriving in Bangkok on Monday, Nitcharee has been staying at the Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Centre where she is undergoing physiotherapy.

It is understood that measurements for her prosthetic legs were taken when she arrived at the centre, and they are now being made in Germany. They cost 1 million baht ($40,000) each. However, it is unclear whether Nitcharee’s family will receive any financial help in Bangkok for her prosthetic limbs, but it is understood that the centre may be paying for them. Meanwhile, her medical bills in Singapore amount to about $46,000 and were paid for by her father.

Earlier this week, My Paper reported that Nitcharee’s father had declined SMRT’s compensation offer of $5,000 and had engaged a lawyer to ask for a fairer compensation. “I am so happy to be home. I am thankful for everyone’s kindness, both here and in Singapore,” said Nitcharee. The girl also expressed her desire to be up on her prosthetic legs as soon as possible, adding that she must maintain her current body weight of 40kg in order for the “new legs” to support her.

“She has a very positive mindset,” added the centre’s head physiotherapist Ms Pakaorn Sai-pan. “She’s doing very well and her cheerfulness makes the other patients here happy.”

Aquart, gets Death Penalty!

Seal of the United States Marshals Service

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The verdict is in! The good guys put another Drug trafficker away, who was responsible for the Murder of several people in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 2005.

A federal jury in New Haven, Conn., today voted unanimously to impose the federal death penalty against Azibo Aquart for his role in the murder of three individuals, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David B. Fein for the District of Connecticut.

On May 23, 2011, the jury found Aquart, aka “Azibo Smith,” “Azibo Siwatu Jahi Smith,” “D,” “Dreddy” and “Jumbo,” 30, of Bridgeport, Conn., guilty of the Aug. 24, 2005, murders of Tina Johnson, 43; James Reid, 40; and Basil Williams, 54. The trial, before U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton, began on April 20, 2011. The jury voted to impose the federal death penalty on four of the six counts of conviction. The court has not yet scheduled a date for imposition of the sentence.

 According to the evidence submitted at trial, Aquart was the founder and leader of a drug trafficking group that primarily sold crack cocaine out of an apartment building located at 215 Charles Street in Bridgeport. Aquart and his associates participated in acts of violence, such as threats and assaults, to maintain their control over the group’s drug distribution activities at the Charles Street apartments. In the summer of 2005, Aquart and his associates became involved in a drug trafficking dispute with Johnson at the Charles Street apartments. According to evidence submitted at trial, Johnson sometimes sold smaller quantities of crack cocaine without the approval of Aquart.

According to the evidence submitted at trial, on the morning of Aug. 24, 2005, Aquart and others entered Johnson’s apartment, bound Johnson, her boyfriend Reid, and her friend Williams with duct tape and brutally beat the victims to death with baseball bats. Aquart and others then drilled the front door of the apartment shut from the inside.

In addition to witness testimony, the government offered extensive forensic evidence gathered from Johnson’s apartment, including fingerprints and evidence that contained DNA from Aquart and his co-conspirators. According to evidence presented at trial, Aquart’s fingerprint was found on a piece of duct tape recovered from the crime scene.

The jury found Aquart guilty of conspiring to commit murder in aid of racketeering and committing the racketeering murders of Johnson, Reid and Williams. The jury also found Aquart guilty of committing three counts of drug-related murder, and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack cocaine).

This case was investigated by the FBI; the Bridgeport Police Department; the Connecticut State Police; the Connecticut Department of Correction’s Intelligence Unit; U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Bridgeport State Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.