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Posted Friday, September 21, 2007
Jury selected in terrorism trial of 6 Haitian, Haitian-Americans, 1 Hispanic Miami men
By The Associated

MIAMI: A jury was chosen Friday for the trial of seven men accused of plotting with a man they thought was an al-Qaida operative to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices in several U.S. cities.

The 12-person jury, plus six alternates, was selected over a two-week period. Opening statements in the trial are scheduled for Tuesday, with testimony likely to last two months or more.

U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard on Friday ordered that the jurors be chosen by number only, making it initially unclear how many men and women were on the panel as well as its ethnic makeup. All the defendants are black, many of them with ties to Haiti.

The seven men, all from Miami's blighted Liberty City neighborhood, face up to 70 years in prison if convicted of conspiring to levy war against the United States and provide material support to al-Qaida. They were charged after a lengthy investigation in which an FBI informant posed as an al-Qaida emissary sent to help with their allegedly violent plans.

Many in the group, including purported ringleader Narseal Batiste, 33, have said they only went along in hopes of extorting money out of the man they knew as Mohammed. But the FBI videotaped each of them pledging allegiance to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. Today in Americas.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press

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