Motion Seeks Dismissal of ‘NATO 3' Terror Charges

NATO protesters charged last year in a conspiracy plot to firebomb targets in Chicago

Lawyers for the men known as the NATO 3 filed a motion Friday to dismiss terrorism charges against the men charged last year with a wide-ranging conspiracy.

The three suspects, Jared Chase, Brian Church, and Brent Betterly, were accused during the NATO Summit in Chicago of plotting to firebomb a variety of targets in the city, including police stations, President Barack Obama’s Prudential Building campaign headquarters and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s North Side home. 

They all entered pleas of not guilty last July and have been held on $1.5 million bond.

The three were charged under a never-before-used state terrorism statute, but defense lawyer Thomas Durkin questioned last year how the state can charge them with a conspiracy which allegedly began long before the May NATO Summit in May.

"We don’t want to see these people rot in jail with a ridiculous bond," Durkin said at the time. "They’re not going anywhere. They’re not terrorists."

Durkin's law offices said Friday's motion asserts that the statutory definition of terrorism passed after 9/11is unconstitutionally vague and "thus allows for the politically motivated and arbitrary enforcement of terrorism charges."

Prosecutors have 21 days to respond, and the next hearing in the case is expected at the end of February. The trial is scheduled to start in September.

Contact Us