Terror Suspects Sought Ties With al-Qaida


MIAMI (AP) - Seven young men arrested in an alleged plot against the Sears Tower were part of a group of "homegrown terrorists" who sought to work with al-Qaida but ended up conspiring with an informant, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Friday.

Outlining an alleged plot to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and a federal building in Miami, Gonzales told a Justice Department news conference: "They were persons who for whatever reason came to view their home country as the enemy."

Gonzales stressed that "there was no immediate threat" in either Chicago or Miami because the group didn't have the materials it was seeking. FBI Deputy Director John Pistole concurred, saying, "This group was more aspirational than operational."

The seven individuals - ranging in age from 22 to 32 - were indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami. Six were taken into custody in Miami Thursday when authorities swarmed a warehouse in the Liberty City area, removing a metal door with a blow torch. A seventh was arrested in Atlanta.