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New York City briefs

Hammer suspect ID'd; remains on the looseA hammer-wielding man was still on the loose Tuesday, a day after he attacked three people throughout the city, as police continued to investigate a fourth attack near Madison Square Park.

In the first attack, a man in his 30s was hit with a hammer near Herald Square just after 1 p.m. on Monday, police said. A few hours later, the suspect approached a 28-year-old woman sitting on a bench in Union Square. He pulled the hammer from his backpack and struck her in the head at about 7:30 p.m., police said. He then walked north and minutes later sneaked up behind a 33-year-old woman. He swung the hammer, hitting her in the back of the head, police said. Both women were taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, where they were treated and released.

Tuesday police were investigating a fourth attack on Madison Avenue, between East 25th and 26th streets, to see if it was connected. In that 1:45 p.m. incident a 34-year-old woman was struck in the head, police said.Terror suspects held in NY plead guiltyThree foreign al-Shabab recruits arrested in Africa and held in New York since 2012 pleaded guilty Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court to providing material support to the al-Qaida-linked terror group.

Madhi Hashi, 25, a Somali with ties to Britain, and Ali Yasin Ahmed, 30, and Mohamed Yusuf, 32, both Swedes, were members of al-Shabab in Somalia and were apprehended in East Africa on their way to Yemen, prosecutors said.

The three, all with ties to the West, had special value for recruitment, said the government, which alleged that Yusuf had starred in a propaganda video and had threatened a cartoonist, and that Hashi had ties to American-born al-Shabab leader Omar Hammami. All three face up to 15 years in prison.

Russian bank foots bill for accused spyA Russian government-controlled bank will be bankrolling the defense of accused spy Evgeny Buryakov, his lawyer revealed Tuesday in a hearing in federal court in Manhattan.

Buryakov, 39, of the Bronx, was accused in January of working under nonofficial cover at the bank, Vnesheconombank, to try to gather economic intelligence in the U.S., and has been held since then. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman told lawyer Scott Hershmann of the firm White & Case once he receives a copy of the retainer agreement, he wants to hold a hearing to explore possible conflicts of interest.

Buryakov has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and acting as an unregistered agent for Russia.


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