Recordings Show NATO Three Plotting Fire Bombings

Jurors heard undercover police recordings Thursday in the trial of three men accused of plotting to set off molotov cocktails during the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago.

Brent Betterly, Brian Church and Jared Chase were arrested on the eve of the event in May 2012. They're charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism and other charges.

Thursday was the second day prosecutors played recordings made by undercover officer Nadia Chikko and her partner, most of them from a Bridgeport apartment building.

The profanity and slang-laden conversations revolve around the summit and various plans to provoke the police.

At one point, Chase talks about claiming a souvenir from an officer's uniform, specifically a police badge.

But Jude Ortiz of the NATO 3 Defense Committee says the recordings tell another story.

What we have seen in court today clearly shows what we have been saying about the case all along, that the NATO 3 were targeted because of their politics by the Chicago Police Department," Ortiz said.

The Bridgeport recordings also capture conversations among the defendants as they prepare four molotov cocktails they allegedly planned to use during the demonstrations.

Church is heard saying on the recordings, "Are you read to see a police officer on fire?"

The defense argues that much of what was said was idle chatter, and that their clients were goaded by the undercover officers to build the fire bombs in the first place.

"The question is, is this terrorism and was it done to coerce or incite a significant portion of the population? I think the tapes speak for themselves," defense attorney Tom Durkin said.

All three defendants have been held in jail since their arrests, unable to raise $1.5 million in bail. If convicted, each could be sentenced to decades in prison.

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