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Undercover officer says he tried to be ‘included’ in NATO 3 conversations

Brent Vincent Betterly (left) Jared Chase Brian Church  |  Chicago Police photos

Brent Vincent Betterly (left), Jared Chase and Brian Church | Chicago Police photos

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Updated: March 3, 2014 4:52PM



He volunteered to make some Molotov cocktails and vowed to “terrorize” the city.

But Chicago Police Officer Mehmet Uygun said he only made those proclamations in order to gauge the sinister intentions of three out-of-town activists that he and his partner, Nadia Chikko, befriended while working undercover before the 2012 NATO summit.

“We were just trying to be included in their plans,” Uygun testified at the NATO 3’s terrorism trial Thursday.

Uygun said one of the defendants, Brian Church, asked him if he ever saw a squad car on fire and offered to demonstrate tactics such as breaking officers’ thumbs and throwing jabs at officers’ necks to escape arrest.

Another defendant, Jared Chase, who Uygun believed wanted to make “sock bombs,” also allegedly said that the “best” thing about an arrow was that the “sh-- doesn’t get stopped by a bulletproof vest.”

Uygun was so certain the men were gearing up to assault police officers, when Church said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was preparing for a civil war for the demonstrations, he thought this was Church’s way of saying, “There will be a battle in the streets of Chicago.”

“My understanding is that ... they wanted to do a little more than protest,” said Uygun who went by the nickname “Mo” and “Turk” during his covert assignment.

Like Chikko, Uygun testified that Church discussed attacking a downtown Chase bank and four police stations, throwing an arrow into Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house and breaking the windows at President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters.

But Uygun went a step further, surmising that Church, 22, wanted to use pipe bombs to attack Obama’s headquarters when he allegedly asked the undercover officers where he could find metal pipes.

Church was captured on recordings saying only that he wanted to use a slingshot in the alleged Obama plot.

“[Uygun] can just say whatever he wants. It doesn’t matter,” Church’s attorney, Michael Deutsch said, objecting to Uygun’s interpretation.

Uygun said it was 29-year-old Chase who first talked about the firebombs that spring.

However, the immediate moment Chase asks, “You guys bring any Molotovs?” Uygun is heard on tape offering to “make” some.

On May 16, 2012 — the day the three men were arrested — Chase allegedly spoke of throwing a brick into the faces of police officers.

That’s when Uygun interjected by saying, “Yeah, Molotovs, make it rain. We should just do like a mob of them.”

“Boom,” Brent Betterly, 25, allegedly responded, eliciting Church to allegedly say, “Just like a rain of f------ fire.”

Uygun will continue testifying when the trial resumes Monday before Cook County Judge Thaddeus Wilson.

Email: rhussain@suntimes.com

Twitter: @rummanahussain



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