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Official: Sears Tower Never in Imminent Danger


A Chicago police official says there was never any imminent threat to the Sears Tower, the tallest building in the U.S., despite allegations that seven men arrested this week were planning to attack it.

Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline said the investigation continues, but the Sears Tower has been found to be secure and free of explosives.

The suspects' leader, Chicago native Narseal Batiste, and six other men are accused of plotting to attack the Sears Tower and several other buildings, including FBI offices in five cities. Batiste appeared Friday before a judge in Miami, Florida, with four other suspects.

The indictment says he asked an FBI informant posing as a member of al-Qaida for guns, uniforms, radios and $50,000 in cash to wage a holy war against the U.S. that would be "just as good or greater" than the September 11, 2001 attacks.

A friend of one of the defendants says the group was a sect based on an early 19th century religion that combines Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Five of the suspects are U.S. citizens. The other two men are from Haiti - one a permanent resident, the other an illegal immigrant.

Several al-Qaida terrorists who carried out the September 11 attacks had lived and trained in the South Florida area.

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