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Al Qaeda Leader warns US of ‘Gravest Consequences’ if Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is executed

Zawahri became al Qaeda's leader after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, urged Muslims to take captive as many Westerners as possible

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Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. Image Source: Reuters.
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  • Tsarnaev, named in a new online video message from Zawahri, was sentenced last year to death by lethal injection for the 2013 bomb attack, which killed three people and injured more than 260
  • Zawahri became al Qaeda’s leader after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden in 2011
  • Tsarnaev is being held at the “Supermax” high-security prison in Florence, Colorado, while his attorneys appeal his death sentence

US had been warned by Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri of the “gravest consequences” if Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or any other Muslim convict is executed.

Tsarnaev, named in a new online video message from Zawahri, was sentenced last year, 2015, to death by lethal injection for the 2013 bomb attack, which killed three people and injured more than 260.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Image Source: Reuters.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Image Source: Reuters

“If the U.S. administration kills our brother the hero Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or any Muslim, it … will bring America’s nationals the gravest consequences,” Zawahri said.

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Zawahri became al Qaeda’s leader after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, urged Muslims to take captive as many Westerners as possible, especially those whose countries had joined the “Crusaders’ Campaign led by the United States”.

The veteran Egyptian-born Islamist, shown wearing white robes and sitting in front of green velvet drapes, said the Western captives could then be exchanged for Muslim prisoners.

Western powers “are criminals and they only understand the language of force”, he added.

The nearly hour-long video includes images of Tsarnaev but gave no indication of the location of Zawahri, believed to be based close to the Afghan-Pakistan border.

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Tsarnaev carried out the Boston bombings along with his older brother Tamerlan, who was killed in a confrontation with police soon after. No organization claimed responsibility.

Boston Marathon Bombings.Image Source: Reuters.
Boston Marathon Bombings.Image Source: Reuters.

Tsarnaev is being held at the “Supermax” high-security prison in Florence, Colorado, while his attorneys appeal his death sentence.

Legal quarrel over Tsarnaev’s fate could play out for decades or years. Only 74 people were executed in US for federal crimes since 1998. (Reuters)

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  • AJ Krish

    Terrrorist attacks followed by the legal process for executing the terrorists and then the threats from Al Qaeda, this is going on and on for so long. Had the US government just taken care of the “problem” without the legal proceedings, it would end in swiftly.

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US Planning For Space Force To Stay Ahead in War

The general says his team is already writing government proposals to make space resupply a certainty for future military mobility

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Space Force
Air Force Gen. Carlton D. Everhart, the Commander of Air Mobility Command, left, holds a binder with a photograph of Air Force One on the cover as he speaks to Navy Adm. Bill Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, second from left, while arriving with other generals and admirals for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 21, 2016. (VOA)

It might sound like science fiction, but the general in charge of the U.S. military’s air transports across the globe says refueling and resupplying the military may soon be a job that’s literally out of this world.

“If I can resupply from space I can go across globe in about 30 minutes,” Air Force General Carlton Everhart, the head of Air Mobility Command, told VOA. “I do truly believe that is the next step. We can really make inroads.”

Everhart says the time gained by using hypersonic craft in space could keep him ahead in “the speed of war,” where competitors China and Russia have been trying to make gains.

The idea of using space deliveries isn’t as far out as it may seem. In fact, industry leaders, companies Everhart hopes to partner with, are already working on this type of technology.

Launch vehicles from companies like SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, and even foreign ventures could “provide tremendous strategic advantage to the U.S. government,” according to Eric Stallmer, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

But it’s an advantage that would come with an astronomical price tag of thousands of dollars per kilo.

Experts say the need to transport via space must outweigh these costs, perhaps only being used during the most important of missions.

Todd Harrison, a space and defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, points to the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, as a situation where time necessities could overpower cost concerns.

“Imagine if we had been able to launch a SEAL team and put them right down in that compound within 45 minutes of knowing that it was under attack. It could have made the difference,” he said.

The general is not just focused on launching from one point on Earth to another, Everhart also wants to use satellites to preposition cargo in space.

Stallmer said a lot of spaceflight companies are looking at this idea of space refueling depots, including plans to convert those refueling vehicles to habitats within space once they’ve been used.

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The future is full of possibilities, but it is unclear when these technologies will be fully developed. Experts give estimates ranging from a couple of years to more than a decade, but that doesn’t stop Everhart from dreaming.

“The train is leaving the station and we’re going to be on it. And I’m not going to be on the caboose. I want to be in front of, I’m going to be in the front,” he said.

The general says his team is already writing government proposals to make space resupply a certainty for future military mobility. (VOA)