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  1. #1
    Senior Member ruthiela's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Sophia, NC

    U.S.: 'Homegrown terrorists' eyed Sears Tower


    U.S.: 'Homegrown terrorists' eyed Sears Tower
    Court documents: Black Muslim group sought to 'kill all the devils we can'
    NBC News and news services

    Updated: 11:23 a.m. ET June 23, 2006
    MIAMI - Calling them "homegrown terrorists," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Friday that seven men had been charged with conspiring to work with al-Qaida to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower and five federal buildings.

    “They were persons who for whatever reason came to view their home country as the enemy,” Gonzales said at a news conference at the Justice Department.

    The suspects, ranging in age from 22 to 32, are five U.S. citizens, a legal immigrant from Haiti and a Haitian national who was in this country illegally.

    Gonzales cited court documents that said the ringleader boasted of wanting to "kill all the devils we can" in a mission "just as good or greater than 9/11."

    The seven individuals indicted by a federal grand jury were taken into custody Thursday when authorities swarmed a Miami warehouse that had been used by a Black Muslim group.

    According to the court documents, a man identified as Narseal Batiste was the recruiter who wanted to organize "soldiers" to build an Islamic army to wage holy war.

    The others were identified as Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lyglenson Lemorin, and Rotschild Augustine.

    Gonzales said that “the convergence of globalization and technology has created a new brand of terrorism. Today terrorist threats come from smaller more loosely defined cells not affiliated with al-Qaida but who are inspired by a violent jihadist message, and left unchecked these homegrown terrorists may prove to be as dangerous as groups like al-Qaida.”

    Batiste allegedly met last December in a hotel room with someone posing as a representative of al-Qaida — someone law enforcement officials say was actually an agent of a country friendly to the United States.

    The indictment said Batiste initially asked for "boots, uniforms, machine guns, radios, and vehicles," as well as $50,000 in cash, to help him build an "Islamic Army to wage jihad.”

    'Good or greater than 9/11'
    In February, the indictment stated, Batiste told the foreign agent that he wanted him and his men to attend an al-Qaida training camp so as to "kill all the devils we can" in a mission he said "would be just as good or greater than 9/11" — beginning with the destruction of the Sears Tower.

    At a meeting on March 16 at a warehouse in the Miami area, the seven defendants allegedly discussed a plot to bomb FBI buildings in five cities, and each swore an oath of loyalty to al-Qaida before the purported al-Qaida representative.

    The person they believed to be an al-Qaida representative gave Batiste a video camera, which Batiste said he would use to film the North Miami Beach FBI building, the indictment said. At a March 26 meeting, Batiste and Augustin provided the foreign agent with photographs of the FBI building, as well as video of other Miami government buildings, and discussed the plot to bomb the FBI building.

    But on May 24, the indictment said, Batiste told the foreign agent that he was experiencing delays “because of various problems within his organization.” Batiste said he wanted to continue his mission and his relationship with al-Qaida nonetheless, the document said.

    The informant's ability to track the group from its early stages had neutralized the threat.

    “There is no imminent threat to Miami or any other area because of these operations,” said Richard Kolko, spokesman for FBI headquarters in Washington. He declined further comment.

    One source said the suspects had been trying to buy weapons and other things needed to carry out attacks. Ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer compound that can also be used as an explosive, was reportedly among the items.

    'Like military boot camp'
    Neighbors who lived nearby said young men, who appeared to be in their teens and 20s, slept in the warehouse, running what looked like a militaristic group. They appeared brainwashed, some said.

    “They would come out late at night and exercise,” said Tashawn Rose. “It seemed like a military boot camp that they were working on there. They would come out and stand guard.”

    Residents living near the warehouse said the men taken into custody described themselves as Muslims and had tried to recruit young people to join their group. Rose said they tried to recruit her younger brother and nephew for a karate class.

    She said she talked to one of the men about a month ago. “They seemed brainwashed,” she said. “They said they had given their lives to Allah.”

    Residents said FBI agents spent several hours in the neighborhood showing photos of the suspects and seeking information. They said the men had lived in the area for about a year.

    Benjamin Williams, 17, said the group sometimes had young children with them. At times, he added, the men “would cover their faces. Sometimes they would wear things on their heads, like turbans.”

    A man who called himself Brother Corey and claimed to be a member of the group told CNN late Thursday that the individuals worship at the building and call themselves the “Seas of David.”

    He dismissed any suggestion that the men were contemplating violence. “We are peaceful,” he said. He added that the group has “soldiers” in Chicago but is not a terrorist organization.

    Xavier Smith, who attends the nearby United Christian Outreach, said the men would often come by the church and ask for water.

    “They were very private,” said Smith.

    Sears Tower
    Managers of the Sears Tower, the nation’s tallest building, said in a statement they speak regularly with the FBI and local law enforcement about terror threats and that Thursday “was no exception.”

    Security at the 110-floor Sears Tower, a Chicago landmark, was ramped up after the Sept. 11 attacks, and the 103rd-floor skydeck was closed for about a month and a half.

    “Law enforcement continues to tell us that they have never found evidence of a credible terrorism threat against Sears Tower that has gone beyond criminal discussions,” the statement said.

    The warehouse owner declined comment. “I heard the news just like you guys,” George F. Mobassaleh told the AP. “I can’t talk to you.”

    South Florida has been linked to several terrorism investigations in the past. Several of the Sept. 11 hijackers lived and trained in the area, including ringleader Mohamed Atta and several plots by Cuban Americans against the government of Fidel Castro have also been based in Miami.

    Jose Padilla, a former resident once accused of plotting to detonate a radioactive bomb in the country, is charged in Miami with being part of a North American terror support cell to al-Qaida and other violent Islamic extremist organizations. He has been in federal custody since 2002 and is scheduled for trial in September.

    Padilla was originally designated an "enemy combatant" and held for three years without charge by the Bush administration shortly after his May 2002 arrest at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

    NBC News’ Pete Williams, Jim Popkin, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


    © 2006

    I still isn't real...........something is up
    END OF AN ERA 1/20/2009

  2. #2
    Senior Member greyparrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I still isn't real...........something is up
    I am not buying ANY of it! We are being force fed "terror" which I beleive, especially in this case, is totally bogus.

    Gotta keep the American citizens cowering.......

  3. #3
    Senior Member AmericanElizabeth's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    +2342 Hero Elite plus
    I believe it is not only probable, but that this is another good example of what unchecked illegal and legal immigration has done to this country.

    We also have to look at those who are Americans who have turned. They need to be rooted out and put away.

    I feel strongly that we have to keep fighting, focused on illegal immigration, and this story is the prime example of why. Although they claim that 5 were Americans, those two who were not born and bred Americans, we need to keep our focus.

    Now, they need to start focusing on Aztlan, Mecha, Maldef, and all the other Latino radicals as well as Mislim radicals, they are just as much of a threat to the security of this nation as Muslim radicals.
    "In the beginning of a change, the Patriot is a scarce man, Brave, Hated, and Scorned. When his cause succeeds however,the timid join him, For then it costs nothing to be a Patriot." Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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