Omar didn't go to a single organizational meeting in 2007, didn't go to an al-Shabab training camp, didn't preach the Quran, didn't participate in any fighting or touch a gun, Birrell said. The attorney also told jurors that not one witness said Omar committed an act of violence against America, and when first arrested, Omar said he never gave al-Shabab money.
"The skeleton in this case they are trying to create has no spine and it falls," Birrell said.
Birrell said the FBI conducted its investigation backward, that agents were under pressure to figure out why young men were leaving Minnesota for Somalia, so they arrested three men who had traveled to Somalia — then accepted their lies as truth and built the case around them.
"They lied through their teeth," he said.
Docherty said the three travelers did tell lies at first, but taken in totality, their stories match. He said evidence supports their testimony and the facts can't be wished away.
He said Omar was right when he told FBI agents: "We could've organized other groups but you chased us out."
"That's exactly what the defendant was doing," Docherty said. "He was organizing groups."
A jury of four men and eight women began deliberating Wednesday afternoon. Deliberations will continue Thursday.
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