Liberty City Seven

Liberty City Seven

Liberty City Seven

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The Liberty City Seven were seven members of a small Miami, Florida-based religious group who called themselves the Seas of David or Seeds of David. Described as a "bizarre cult," the seven were arrested and charged with terrorism-related offenses in 2006 after a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting investigation. The members of the group operated out of a warehouse in the Miami neighborhood of Liberty City.

Indicted in federal court, three trials of the Liberty City Seven defendants took place. One defendant was acquitted in the first trial, but the jury deadlocked on the other six defendants and a mistrial occurred. The second trial also resulted in a deadlocked jury and a mistrial. On the third trial of the remaining six defendants, five were convicted on some of the counts, including the group's ringleader, Narseal Batiste, the only defendant to be convicted on all four charges. Two more defendants were acquitted of all charges.

The charges centered around the group's attempted purchase of weapons from persons whom they believed were representatives of al-Qaeda (but whom were actually undercover FBI agents), and on a stated intention to destroy the Sears Tower in Chicago, the FBI field office in Miami, television and movie studios in Hollywood, the Empire State Building, and other targets. Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation John S. Pistole described the group's plot as more "aspirational than...
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