Terror Arrests in Miami: “Potentially Effective but Not Pretty”

INDICTMENT: “CONSPIRACY TO LEVY WAR AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES” and other lesser charges.

Government describes “mountain of evidence” against those arrested, identified as:

Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lygleson Lemorin, Rotschild Augustine.

23 June 2006; 0515 a.m. ET Update 3: The group of Black Muslims who pledged “bayat” or allegiance to al Qaeda by “blood oath,” is being described as “potentially effective but not pretty” by one federal law enforcement official who spoke to this agency on the condition of anonymity. According to the information provided, “around a dozen arrest warrants were issued – not all for individuals in Miami” – for members of this terror cell with Islamic goals and agenda. Also according to the source close to this investigation, at least one Arab Muslim and one mosque has been under surveillance for “supporting” this group and their associates. All but one man were arrested in Miami; another was arrested in Atlanta while federal and local law enforcement officers were conducting an investigation “of individuals who assisted the group in Chicago.”

Two boxes of materials, including paramilitary style training manuals including some documents written in Arabic, crude drawings of targets that included the federal building in Miami, one prominent bank building/financial center in Miami, an unspecified location near the Port of Miami, and the Sears Tower in Chicago were taken from one location in the Liberty City section of Miami, Florida during the execution of the warrants. Additionally, a warehouse owned by George F. and Maysoon Mobassaleh was searched by federal authorities after they entered using a blowtorch to remove external locks on the building.

All of those already in custody or being sought are believed to be part of one operational terrorist cell based in the Liberty City section of the city of Miami. They have been training in paramilitary style exercises.

Note: As this is an active law enforcement operation that is taking place at this hour, information about locations are being withheld to avoid compromising the efforts and activities of law enforcement agents. Additional details to follow.