The Miami "Seas of David" terror bust was such an important blow in the War on Terror that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales himself gave a press conference in July of 2006. Federal agents had stopped a plot to blow up the Sears Tower, he said. The group had planned to "accomplish attacks against America," the FBI's deputy director said at Gonzales side. "We pre-empted their plot."So they went to trial and what happened?
But, as we wrote at the time, "the more we learn, the less this crew looks like they could have toppled a tree house, let alone the Sears Tower." The clique, adherents of a sect "that mixes Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Freemasonry, Gnosticism and Taoism," met in a windowless warehouse they called the "Temple." The leader of the group, Narseal Batiste, was described as a "'Moses-like figure' who would roam the streets in a cape or bathrobe, toting a crooked wooden cane and looking for young men to join his group." And when the group met in their Temple, the men "took turns standing guard outside the door, dressed up in makeshift military uniforms and combat boots. Sometimes they covered their faces with ski masks." Nobody ever charged them with being subtle.
Chicago bomb defendant is cleared
A jury in Miami has cleared one man of trying to blow up America's tallest building, the Sears Tower in Chicago, as part of a holy war.And how hapless were they?
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on six other defendants, and the judge declared a mistrial. Prosecutors say they plan to try them again next year.
The jury spent more than week considering their verdicts.
The prosecution said they had hoped to forge an alliance with al-Qaeda to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and FBI offices in Miami and elsewhere.I don't even want to think about how much money was spent to set these fools up and then bring them to trial all for the sake of some propaganda.
But they succeeded only in contacting a paid FBI informant, rather than al-Qaeda itself.
And the defence argued that that they were in fact hapless figures who were either entrapped by the FBI or went along with the plot in order to con the FBI informant out of $50,000 (£25,000).
It said they wanted money to transform the warehouse in Liberty City where they met into a community gathering place.