Ex-MN college student accused in phone tamper plot

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesotan arrested in an alleged plot to tamper with a U.S. senator's office phones was known for his conservative activism at college.

Twenty-4-year-old Joseph Basel (BAY'-zuhl) is among four men accused of trying to tamper with phones in Democratic Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's (LAN'-drooz) office in New Orleans.

Basel co-founded a conservative magazine - The Counterweight - when he was a student at the University of Minnesota-Morris. 1 of the other co-founders says Basel was "really passionate" about his beliefs.

Republican state Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (IHNG'-uh-BRET'-suhn) of Alexandria says Basel was a field staffer on his 2006 campaign. Ingebrigtsen says he was "shocked" by Basel's arrest.

Basel's parents in Mankato had no comment Wednesday.

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