Miami: case against Liberty Seven goes down to defeat

For once we get some joy from being able to say “told you so.” When the Liberty Seven were first busted lasted year, we called out the case against them as bogus. It is a glimmer of hope that a jury agreed with us. From VOA, Dec. 13:

Terror Trial in Miami Ends in One Acquittal, Six Mistrials
A federal jury in Florida has cleared a man accused of plotting terrorist attacks in the United States, but said it was unable to agree on a verdict for six other defendants.

A judge in Miami declared a mistrial for the six other men, which leaves open the possibility that prosecutors can seek another trial.

The seven defendants were accused of plotting to join forces with al-Qaida and blow up FBI offices and topple the tallest building in the United States, the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Defense lawyers contended the alleged plot was mainly driven by FBI informants who persuaded the men to plan attacks. The defendants said they invented their terror plan in an effort to get cash from the informants, who said they had links to al-Qaida.

The federal government hailed the group’s arrest last year as a major crackdown on home-grown terrorists. Prosecutors said no attack was imminent, but that the men’s plans were more “aspirational” than “operational.”

The defendants, who had been charged with terrorism-related conspiracy, were known as the Liberty City Seven, a name taken from the poor neighborhood of Miami where they met.

The 12-member jury met for more than a week before reporting Friday that it could agree only on acquittal for one of the seven defendants.

See our last post on specious terror cases.

  1. Liberty City defendants convicted β€”at last
    It seems third time’s a charm for federal prosecutors. From AP, May 12:

    MIAMI β€” Five men were convicted Tuesday of plotting to join forces with al-Qaida to destroy Chicago’s Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices in hopes of igniting an anti-government insurrection.

    The jury in Miami acquitted another member of the so-called “Liberty City Six” in the sixth day of deliberations. Two previous trials ended in mistrials when jurors could not agree on the men’s guilt or innocence…

    Ringleader Narseal Batiste, 35, was the only one convicted of all four terrorism-related conspiracy counts, including plotting to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to wage war against the U.S. Batiste, who was on the vast majority of hundreds of FBI audio and video tapes, faces up to 70 years in prison.

    Batiste’s right-hand man, 29-year-old Patrick Abraham, was convicted on three counts and faces 50 years behind bars. Convicted on two counts and facing 30 years are 24-year-old Burson Augustin, 25-year-old Rotschild Augustine and 33-year-old Stanley Grant Phanor. Naudimar Herrera, 25, was cleared of all four charges.