updated 12/13/2006 11:51:26 PM ET 2006-12-14T04:51:26

A man accused of planning to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower and several federal buildings said he was never going to stage a terrorist attack, a statement released Wednesday said.

Narseal Batiste made the claims in a 25-page statement that his wife hand-delivered to WFOR-CBS4, reporter Brian Andrews said.

“I want you to know that I never had any intentions of doing a terrorist act,” Batiste said in the handwritten document. “My group and I had never had reason to harm anyone.”

Batiste and six others were arrested in June and accused of conspiring to blow up the Sears Tower and government buildings in Miami, New York, Washington and elsewhere.

Authorities have said the group’s plot never got beyond the planning stage and the men didn’t acquire explosives or weapons for the attack.

Batiste said he only told an FBI informant posing as an al-Qaida operative he planned to blow up the Sears Towers because that’s what he thought the man wanted to hear. Batiste said he was hoping to get money from the informant so he could help his organization, which he said was called the Universal Divine Saviours.

“I made it up right then and there,” Batiste said. “If you listen to the words I was saying, it’s unrealistic, such as I need horses.”

Batiste also blames a convenience store owner from Yemen, who he says befriended him and later teamed up with the informants, feeding them lies to help his own financial and immigration problems.

Batiste and the six others have pleaded not guilty to a four-count terrorism conspiracy indictment and face trial in March.

Telephone messages left after hours for Batiste’s attorney and prosecutors were not immediately returned.

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