MIAMI – A federal jury acquitted one man of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago in an Islamic jihad, and said it was deadlocked on six other defendants, and Judge Joan Lenard declared a mistrial in the case of the “Liberty City Seven.” Another trial for the six remaining defendants will begin in January, Judge Lenard said.
The jury’s failure to reach a decision was another blow to Bush administration’s “war on terror.” The men – named for the rundown part of Miami where they allegedly met – faced four conspiracy counts: conspiring to make war on the United States, to provide material support to al Qaeda, to destroy federal buildings, and to provide material support to destroy federal buildings.
The jury acquitted Lyglenson Lemorin, 32, who split from the group and moved to Atlanta months before the seven were arrested.
The alleged leader, Narseal Batiste, owned a construction business and was the other defendants’ boss. All allegedly are members of the Moorish Science Temple, a religion with elements of Christianity, Judaism and Islam that does not recognize the authority of the U.S. government.
They were accused of trying to join with al Qaeda to blow up the Sears Tower and overthrow the U.S. government.