The Miami "Seas of David" terror bust was such an important blow in the War on Terror that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales himself gave a press conference in July of 2006. Federal agents had stopped a plot to blow up the Sears Tower, he said. The group had planned to "accomplish attacks against America," the FBI's deputy director said at Gonzales side. "We pre-empted their plot."
But, as we wrote at the time, "the more we learn, the less this crew looks like they could have toppled a tree house, let alone the Sears Tower." The clique, adherents of a sect "that mixes Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Freemasonry, Gnosticism and Taoism," met in a windowless warehouse they called the "Temple." The leader of the group, Narseal Batiste, was described as a "'Moses-like figure' who would roam the streets in a cape or bathrobe, toting a crooked wooden cane and looking for young men to join his group." And when the group met in their Temple, the men "took turns standing guard outside the door, dressed up in makeshift military uniforms and combat boots. Sometimes they covered their faces with ski masks." Nobody ever charged them with being subtle.
And it was unclear whether the group really had any plans themselves, or whether they got all their ideas from the FBI informant. When the FBI raided the Temple, FBI agents found only one knife and a blackjack. The group trained by shooting paintball guns in the woods.
Sure enough, the government's case ended today with one exoneration and six mistrials. "The government wants to try them again next year," the BBC reports.