The seven arrested on June 22 in Miami were set up by the F.B.I.
They had no plan. They had no weapons. They had no C3I. On May 24, 2006, Narseal Batiste told the F.B.I. informant that the group was dissolving. Mr Batiste did apparently attend Brother Rice High School for a couple of years which is just down the street and in fact is part of the educational complex that my university is situated on in Chicago. Beginning December 16, 2005 these poor, mostly uneducated Americans and Haitians were lured and entrapped by a fake comrade.
The only actions that this group committed was talking. The First Amendment allows speech that is revolutionary, that advocates war against the government, that seeks "jihad" to rectify perceived wrongs. There was no imminent harm; their speech was private and not public. They were not openly encouraging violence or establishing a venue in which violent acts were allowed to take place. I see nothing that they did that was not under constitutional protection. What they did was fantasise among themselves and to this informant. Is this what the powerful U.S. government advertises as its great counterterrorism operations: exploiting, persecuting, framing and the entrapment of poor minorities, down on their luck, who have no career or future?
Racism: I do believe these men are representative of disaffected people who have no steady employment, no college education, no health care and no pension plan. Five of these were Americans. One was Haitian here legally and the other was an undocumented worker. The war on terrorism, if there is such a thing, is to a large extent the product of misery, poverty and lack of hope. The Palestinians, dispossessed and persecuted by the Israelis, is so vital to the resistance and liberation struggles against the U.S. That is if you will a broader and more dramatic manifestation of how oppressed peoples are resisting American/Israeli colonisation. In this immediate instance, the U.S. should find these men work; give them decent housing; offer them educational opportunities and terminate this persecution of individudals who only had BOOTS that their contact person provided them.
Here in Chicago, one would think the Sears Tower was falling when these men had not even visited Chicago for any operational planning. We are told they swore an oath of allegiance to Al Qaeda. So what? That is their right. They never met anyone in Al Qaeda; I assume they do not even speak Arabic or have even traveled to the Middle East.