Score one for Homeland Security. The AP reports today that seven young men seized in a Miami warehouse have been charged in a federal indictment with conspiring to "maliciously damage and destroy by means of an explosive" the FBI building in North Miami Beach and the Sears Tower in Chicago.
The indictment identifies Narseal Batiste as being the ringleader who started recruiting and training the other accused "for a mission to wage war against the United States government" beginning November 2005. Batiste allegedly met with an "al-Qaida representative" requesting financial sponsorship in February and planned a "full ground war" against the United States in order to "kill all the devils we can." The indictment claims that Batiste boasted his mission would "be just as good or greater than 9/11."
Coincidentally, the LA Times reports today that the greatly unpopular government surveillance programs extend to bank data. The article reports, "The U.S. government, without the knowledge of many banks and their customers, has engaged for years [since 9/11] in a secret effort to track terrorist financing by accessing a vast database of confidential information on transfers of money between banks worldwide." The confidential information includes names and account numbers.
I'll be curious to see if this banking surveillance activity receives the same criticism as the telephone surveillance did a few weeks ago in light of the anti-terrorism success story today.