MIAMI – The Associated Press reports that five men were convicted Tuesday of plotting to join forces with al-Qaida to destroy Chicago’s Sears Tower.
The men also bombed FBI offices in hopes of igniting an anti-government insurrection, the AP reported.
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.
The men were arrested in June 2006 on charges of plotting terrorism with an undercover FBI informant they believed was from al-Qaida. Defense attorneys said terrorist talk recorded on dozens of FBI tapes was not serious and the men only wanted money, the AP reported.
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, according to the AP.
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, according to the AP.
U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard set sentencing for July 26 for the five convicted men, most of whom are Haitian or have Haitian ancestry. They lived in Liberty City.
Pictured above is Sears Tower in Chicago.