by Mondoreb & Little Baby Ginn
The "Liberty City Seven" trial opened today in Miami with allegations from the prosecution that the men threatened bombings, poisoning salt shakers in restaurants and anything to create general chaos. The men were attempting to start a holy war with their actions.
MIAMI (Reuters) - Seven men plotted to bring down the U.S. government with attacks ranging from poisoned saltshakers to bombings of landmark buildings, a prosecutor told Miami jurors in Tuesday's opening of their terrorism conspiracy trial.
The "Liberty City Seven" aimed to create chaos as part of a holy war to pave the way for al Qaeda-affiliated guerrillas to take over the United States, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Gregorie said in the prosecution's opening statement.
"We need to make the people go crazy in the streets," Gregorie quoted alleged ringleader Narseal Batiste as saying. "Allah is going to take over through us."
Defense lawyers said the charges were "nonsense" scripted by the government and orchestrated by informants they called Conman No. 1 and Conman No. 2.
So was this a jihad or nonsense?
They said the defendants, one of whom was devoted mainly to smoking marijuana, had no weapons or intent to do violence and that it was the informants who suggested poisoning restaurant saltshakers and blowing up buildings.One has to question how the defendant devoted to smoking marijuana found the energy to do anything other than making sure his stash of Oreos was secure. Of course, the prosecution would see this differently.
The "Liberty City Seven," named for the poor Miami neighborhood where the young men gathered in a rundown warehouse, were arrested in 2006 on charges of plotting to blow up Chicago's 110-story Sears Tower -- the tallest U.S. skyscraper -- and other buildings, including New York and Los Angeles FBI offices and the Miami federal court complex where they are on trial.
Feelings on the trial have run strong with the prosecution's advocates claiming that this headed off major chaos. The defendant's advocates insist that the accused were just arrested because of their strong beliefs, pot smoking and because of where they were from.
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