Judge Declares Mistrial in Sears Tower Plot Case

Jury acquits 1, splits on 6 others accused of pursuing al Qaeda ties
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2007 5:12 PM CST
Albert Levin, foreground, defense attorney for Patrick Abraham, and Roderick Vereen, left, defense attorney for Stanley Phanor arrive at the federal courthouse Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007, in Miami. Jury...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A jury acquitted one suspect today and was deadlocked over the six others in the "Liberty City Seven" case, in which prosecutors had accused the Miami men of swearing allegiance to al Qaeda and plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. The case was a centerpiece in the Bush Administration's campaign against homegrown terrorism, the Associated Press reports.

"We believe no further progress can be made," the jury's note read. Prosecutors had taped evidence of the men declaring their allegiance to al Qaeda and discussing plans for an attack "as good or greater than 9/11." But the defense claimed the affair was "written, directed and produced by the FBI," whose undercover informant concocted the entire plan.