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Federal judge declares mistrial for 6 in Sears Tower terrorism case

[JURIST] US District Judge Joan A. Lenard [official profile] Thursday ordered a mistrial in a terrorism case against six men charged with allegedly conspiring to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI headquarters in Miami, after the jury was unable to reach a verdict after nine days of deliberations. A seventh man, Lyglenson Lemorin, was acquitted on terrorism conspiracy charges. If the men had been convicted, they would have faced up to 70 years in prison.

The seven were indicted [JURIST report] last year 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. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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