Second Mistrial for Alleged Terrorist Group

| Fri Apr. 18, 2008 9:50 AM EDT

Jurors from the first trial of the Miami-area men accused of plotting to blow up the Sears tower probably weren't surprised to hear that the evidence has now produced a second hung jury. A juror from the first trial, librarian Delorise Thompkins, said, "When you see the evidence, there's not a lot there—no plans, no papers, no pictures, no nothing connecting them to Osama bin Laden."

As we've written before, the defendants had no explosives and no concrete plans. What they did have was a well-paid government informant posing who coaxed them into doing surveillance on federal buildings...and gave them the equipment to do it. The men were then arrested for providing "material support" to a terrorist group, even though they had never made contact with a real terrorist and the idea of blowing up buildings originated from the informant himself.

The tenuous connection between the men and al Qaeda led to one of the defendants being acquitted in the first trial.

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Despite being acquitted, and despite the second mistrial for his alleged co-conspirators, the man, Lyglenson Lemorin, is being tried for "material support" by another government agency: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Although Lemorin is a permanent legal resident of the Unites States and has lived here for 20 years, he remains in detention for possible deportation to his native Haiti.

As for Lemorin's co-defendants, the government will announce April 23 whether it intends to go forward with a third trial. We'll keep you posted on what happens.