Three NATO summit protesters in their 20s were arrested Wednesday night on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism with incendiary devices after Chicago police raided an apartment. The group’s attorney says weapons were planted at the scene of the arrests.
Court documents allege the three intended to attack Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters and the home of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Other activists say the three, whom Chicago police described as self-proclaimed anarchists and “Black Bloc” members, were in Chicago to protest peacefully, and that police confused beer-making equipment with explosives.
Obama and representatives from 60 countries are meeting to discuss the war in Afghanistan and related issues at the summit opening Sunday. —ARK
The three men charged were listed as Brian Church, 22, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jared Chase, 27, of Keene, New Hampshire, and Brent Betterly, 24, from Massachusetts.
At a hearing on Saturday bail was set at $1.5m for each of the three. Their next court appearance is on Tuesday.
Supporters of the three men disputed the charges, saying the men had come to protest at the Nato summit peacefully and that the police had confused beer-making equipment with explosives.
A lawyer for the three, Michael Deutsch, said undercover police officers had entrapped them by infiltrating the group and encouraging the bomb-making effort. The Chicago police department declined to comment on the tactics employed in the case.
david drexler (CC BY 2.0)