The more I learn about this case, the more I'm beginning to think the FBI just framed a bunch of dipshits whose plans were much less the work of an al Qaeda affiliate than they were the product of poverty, stupidity, and one too many episodes of Nickelodeon's Pinky and the Brain.
Paintballers Plotted World Takeover
TPMmuckraker: The ragtag, kooky group, who all belong to a sect "that mixes Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Freemasonry, Gnosticism and Taoism," had plans to destroy the Sears Tower in Chicago, prosecutors say.
Well, the judge says the crew is too dangerous to walk the streets before trial. So they'll stay locked up. But more details about the case came out during the hearing. And the more we learn, the less this crew looks like they could have toppled a tree house, let alone the Sears Tower.
That's not to say that they didn't talk up their destructive ambitions. One of them even "made reference to taking over the world," according to the FBI agent on the case.
That said, the group never got their hands on any real weapons. In fact, they apparently trained by shooting paintball guns in the woods. During their raid of the group's Temple, a windowless warehouse, FBI agents found only one knife and a blackjack.
How did the group show up on the FBI's radar? It's unclear, but from the Miami Herald's reporting of the hearing, it sounds like the group's leader, Narseal Batiste, went down to his local 7-11 to "obtain financial and military support." I'm not kidding.
He eventually got a lot of promises from another FBI informant for guns, boots and $50,000 in cash. But the lawyer for one of Batiste's followers says Batiste, who used to "roam the streets" in a bathrobe, was just scamming the informant because he was hard up for money. ...(more)