Complete coverage of the Chicago NATO Summit

Trial Begins for 3 NATO Protesters

Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Vincent Betterly have all pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism and providing material support for terrorism

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014  |  Updated 9:47 AM CDT
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UPDATE: Trial Begins for NATO 3 Suspects

Cook County prosecutors say three protesters accused of terrorism plotted to firebomb several locations in Chicago, including police stations, during the 2012 NATO summit.

Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Vincent Betterly are accused of plotting Molotov cocktail attacks during the event.

All three have all pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism and providing material support for terrorism. Prosecutors dropped other, lesser charges against the three men earlier this month.

Making opening their statement Tuesday, prosecutors said the activists wanted the Molotov cocktail attacks to create an "iconic image."

Defense attorneys argued there isn't a terrorism case and that prosecutors have exaggerated the defendants' actions.

The trial is expected to center on Illinois' rarely used terrorism laws. Critics say the statutes are vague.

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