Suspect in bomb plot pleads innocent
November 27 2003 12:00 AM ET
A religious fundamentalist pleaded innocent Wednesday to bomb and weapons charges in an alleged plot to blow up abortion clinics, "disloyal" churches, and gay bars. Stephen John Jordi, 35, of suburban Coconut Creek, Fla., moved to a lectern with his ankles in shackles as his attorney entered the plea. A date will be set later for trial in Fort Lauderdale. Jordi, who was turned in by relatives and church members, faces a five-year mandatory sentence and up to 20 years if convicted of attempted firebombing. He also was indicted Tuesday on charges of spreading information about the plot and
possession of an unregistered silencer.
Prosecutors, who say Jordi described himself as a terrorist, must prove that he took substantial steps toward launching a bombing spree across the eastern United States. The indictment discarded the original charge of soliciting arson, which requires a higher standard of proof that Jordi tried to get someone, in this case an informant, to join the bomb plot.