"NATO 3" Face More Charges in Alleged Firebomb Plot

A recent indictment adds charges of possession of an incendiary device, attempted arson, solicitation to commit arson and others

By Phil Rogers
|  Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012  |  Updated 10:20 AM CDT
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Protesters Say They Were Kept in Isolation

Left to Right: Brent Vincent Betterly, Brian Church, Jared Chase

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Jury Indicts Men Arrested in NATO Plot

"This is not a terrorism case, this is a ridiculous terrorism case," said attorney Thomas Durkin. Phil Rogers reports.
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Three men accused in a firebombing plot during the recent NATO Summit in Chicago now face additional charges after their indictment by a Cook County Grand Jury.

The three defendants, Brent Betterly, Jared Chase and Brian Church, already were charged with material support for terrorism, possession of an incendiary device and conspiracy to commit terrorism in a wide-ranging case. Prosecutors said they plotted to firebomb sites including Mayor Emanuel’s North Side home, various police stations and the Prudential Building campaign headquarters of President Barack Obama.

Their recent indictment adds charges of possession of an incendiary device, attempted arson, solicitation to commit arson, conspiracy to commit arson and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

“The prosecutor controls the grand jury and is able to obtain a rubber-stamped indictment for any charges it desires,” said attorney Michael Deutsch, one of Church’s defense attorneys. “The state is intent on continuing its strategy to sensationalize this case.”

The three are being held on $1.5 million bond. Defense attorneys have argued that the three were victims of police infiltrators who were the true authors of the alleged crime.

“The common thread running through the NATO 3 case and other similar contemporary cases is politically motivated infiltration,” National Lawyers Guild spokesman Chris Hermes said in a statement. “Questions of whether law enforcement is in fact provoking or manufacturing criminal activity remain unanswered and extremely relevant.”

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