Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Al Qaeda in Yemen #2 Killed, Says Yemen

In Drones and Assassination, Yemen on September 11, 2012 at 7:15 am

According to Yemen:

Sana’a, Yemen (CNN) — Yemeni forces have killed Said al-Shihri, second in command of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni Defense Ministry said Monday.
A Yemeni government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said officials are waiting for DNA confirmation.
If confirmed, the death “would be a deeply significant blow against AQAP,” CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.

The killing of al-Shihri and other AQAP leaders “is leading to the gradual dismantlement of the group,” CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen said.

White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan in April described AQAP as “very, very dangerous” and “the most active operational franchise” of al Qaeda.

FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress in May that al Qaeda and its affiliates, “especially al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, currently represent the top counterterrorism threat to the nation.”

The group was behind the so-called underwear bomb attempt on a U.S.-bound international flight on Christmas Day 2009 and an effort to smuggle bombs in printer cartridges onto U.S.-bound cargo planes in 2010.

Al-Shihri, who was once held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, was killed Monday in an operation in Hadramawt Valley, state-run news agency SABA reported.

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Construction Resumes on 9/11 Museum in NYC

In Memorial Museum on September 11, 2012 at 7:09 am

Battle over the 9/11 museum in New York City has apparently been resolved:

New York (CNN) — The budgetary dispute that has delayed the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum has been resolved, according to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The museum was scheduled to open on the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, but disagreements over funding, financing and oversight of the museum between the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have halted construction. The foundation controls the memorial and museum; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the World Trade Center site.
Late Monday, all parties entered into a “memorandum of understanding,” an agreement that allows them to restart construction on the stalled museum project.  “My goal during this period has been to get construction on the museum restarted,” said Bloomberg, who is chairman of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation. “This agreement ensures that it will be restarted very soon and will not stop until the museum is completed.”

The point of contention, $300 million that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it was owed by the 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation for additional design and construction costs, is being dropped in exchange for financial oversight of the museum and memorial, according to the memorandum.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum Foundation agreed to oversight from a committee composed of eight members: two appointed by the governor of New Jersey, two appointed by the governor of New York and four by the memorial board.  The foundation has agreed to have no less than six months of operating funds on hand at all times once the museum opens, though it’s not clear if the foundation can meet this requirement because it is hard to say exactly how much money the museum will bring in, and the memorandum does not outline specific ramifications if the foundation is unable to meet these financial obligations.

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The Cost of the WTC Memorial

In Architecture, Memorial Museum on September 10, 2012 at 9:18 am

700 million USD, according to the AP Story:

NEW YORK (AP) — With its huge reflecting pools, ringed by waterfalls and skyscrapers, and a cavernous underground museum still under construction, the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center is an awesome spectacle that moved and inspired some 4.5 million visitors in its first year.
But all that eye-welling magnificence comes with a jaw-dropping price tag. The foundation that runs the memorial estimates that once the roughly $700 million project is complete, the memorial and museum will together cost $60 million a year to operate.
The anticipated cost has bothered some critics and raised concerns even among the memorial’s allies that the budget may be unsustainable without a hefty government subsidy.
By comparison, the National Park Service budgeted $8.4 million this year to operate and maintain Gettysburg National Military Park and $3.6 million for the monument that includes the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Running Arlington National Cemetery, which has more than 14,000 graves and receives 4 million visitors a year, costs $45 million annually.

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