PICKET: NATO protesters charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts

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Three protesters who came to Chicago to protest the NATO Summit were arrested Wednesday night during a police raid werer charged with “possesing explosives to commit terrorist acts” reports CBS Chicago:

Lawyers for Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, New Hampshire; and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla., insist the only thing inside that apartment was beer-making equipment.

But Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said surveillance has proven that their plans were far more sinister, and could have hurt or killed people in Chicago.

“These individuals charged today are self-proclaimed anarchists who traveled together from Florida to the Chicago area,” said Cook County State’s Anita Alvarez. “Their intent was to commit terrorist acts of violence and destruction during the NATO Conference.”

Specifically, Alvarez said the group planned to attack police cars and four Chicago Police stations with “destructive devices.” The attacks on police were intended to be a diversionary tactic to undermine the police response to other attacks, Alvarez said.

Six other protesters who were also arrested during the raid were released without charges.

On Friday evening Sarah Gelsomino, a National Lawyers Guild attorney handling the case for the three men who were eventually charged on Saturday, spoke and with reporters and NATO protesters. “Was there any signs of injury or struggle during the raid?” I asked.

“No. Each of them was held at gunpoint during the raid. To be honest, at this point our primary concern isn’t what happened at the raid with the individuals who are still in custody. We don’t know all the details with the raid,” she said.

Ms. Gelsomino said the men had been held for “many hours without their lawyer” and that “none of them have been injured in a terrible way.”

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About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

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