Sears Tower terror retrial underway

[JURIST] Jury selection began Tuesday in the retrial of six of the seven men charged with allegedly conspiring to bomb [DOJ press release] the FBI headquarters in Miami and the Sears Tower in Chicago. The seven men first went to trial last year, but in December one man was acquitted and a mistrial was declared [JURIST report] for the other six after the case ended in a hung jury. If convicted, each defendant faces up to 70 years in prison.

The seven were indicted [JURIST report] in 2006 on charges [indictment, PDF] of conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda; conspiring to provide material support, training, and resources to terrorists; conspiring to maliciously damage and destroy by means of an explosive; and conspiring to levy war against the government of the United States. The indictment alleges that ringleader Narseal Batiste recruited the six other defendants to "organize and train for a mission to wage war against the United States government," and that they pledged an oath to al Qaeda in an attempt to secure financial and logistical backing. Lawyers for some of the men said that their clients were entrapped [JURIST report] by an FBI informant posing as an al Qaeda operative. AP has more.

 

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