Chicago Cops: Protesters Planned to Hit Obama HQ

Mayor's house also alleged target; trio says police set them up
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2012 12:32 PM CDT
3 Face Terror Charges Ahead of Chicago NATO Summit
Chicago police officers watch over protesters in front of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house at a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago Saturday.   (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

Prosecutors say three men arrested in a raid on a Chicago apartment had planned to attack President Obama's campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home, police stations, and other targets. The trio was arrested Wednesday in a nighttime raid in the Bridgeport neighborhood on the South Side. They're accused of trying to make Molotov cocktails ahead of the two-day NATO summit that starts tomorrow. Their attorney, Sarah Gelsomino, said the men are "absolutely in shock and have no idea where these charges are coming from." (The three were in this YouTube video last week, which protesters say shows how Chicago police harass them, notes the Chicago Tribune. Near the end, police promise to look for the men at the NATO protests.)

Defense attorneys told a judge today that undercover police are the ones who brought the Molotov cocktails, and that their clients were entrapped. Bond of $1.5 million was set for each defendant. They have been charged with providing material support for terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism, and possession of explosives. Police identified the men as Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, NH; and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla. (More Chicago stories.)

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