By Patrice Taddonio PBS
In 2006, in what was touted by the government as a major success in the post-9/11 “war on terror,” then-U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took to the podium at a press conference to announce the arrest of an alleged seven-man homegrown terror cell that had pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda.
The group of Black men from the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami had been arrested “on charges of conspiring to support the Al Qaeda terrorist organization by planning attacks on numerous targets, including bombing the Sears Tower in Chicago,” Gonzales said. He quoted the men as saying they wished to carry out a “‘full ground war’” against the U.S., to “‘kill all the devils we can,’” and to make their attacks “‘just as good or greater than 9/11.’”
But the Liberty City Seven had no weapons and had never communicated with anyone from Al Qaeda. Lawyers for the men insist the plot was an FBI setup. The alleged “ringleader,” Narseal Batiste, said he only said what he did because he was desperate for cash, and he had no intention of following through.