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NATO 3 trial: Recordings played of alleged plans to attack Obama HQ

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: February 24, 2014 1:14PM



They talked about the TV series “Jackass,” making homemade beer, getting high and the popularity of the video game “Grand Theft Auto.”

But when they weren’t waxing poetic on the intricacies of partying and pop culture, Brian Church and Jared Chase discussed the mayhem they hoped to unleash during the 2012 NATO summit, Chicago Police Officer Nadia Chikko testified Wednesday.

“This mother------ [Barack] Obama’s not saying anything to this f------ brutal-a-- police force. We gotta send a message,” Church allegedly said on the recordings played in his and his two friends’ terrorism trial.

Chikko, who infiltrated the activist community with her partner, said she helped secretly record Church, 22, Chase, 29, and others while hanging out with protesters between May 4 and May 16, 2012.

Additional recordings that Cook County prosecutors are expected to present in court Thursday allegedly capture the pair and Brent Betterly, 25, making the Molotov cocktails authorities said they wanted to lob at police officers.

The trio, now known as the NATO 3, were arrested even before they had a chance to carry out their alleged plans, but Church and Chase were proud to show off a “big-a--” shield they wanted to use against cops and had plenty of opinions on explosives and potato launchers, according to Wednesday’s recordings that were full of mellow laughter and expletives.

“You put one of those [firecrackers] in the bottle, the f------ glass will explode,” Chase allegedly said.

Church allegedly said he wanted to use his slingshot to break windows at Obama’s downtown campaign headquarters and save his arrows to “shoot someone through the head” with.

However in the recordings, Church also admitted to the undercover officers that “this was the first major thing” he had ever done and apologized for not coming up with more elaborate plans because we’re always “f----- spaced out.”

Chikko’s male partner, who also posed as an activist, sounded as if he were disheartened over Church and Chase’s lack of ambition in coming up with wayward NATO activities.

“We got a whole nine days and we ain’t got s---- to do,” the officer nicknamed “Mo” said on tape. “Mo” also suggested that Church and Chase try to “come up with something” before you “hit the bowl” — a reference to smoking pot.

Chikko also came off like a cheerleader in the recordings, apparently giving the men tips on using “forties” — meaning 40-ounce bottles of beer — for the firebombs and boasting about wanting to start a “riot.” The officer also playfully called Church a “ninja” when he showed her his knives, swords, throwing star and bow and arrows.

NATO was going to be the “big s---” and “f------ nuts,” Church allegedly said in the recordings.

Still, there was at least once instance he sounded less enthusiastic: “If we don’t do anything all month, somebody’s still gonna do s--- out there,” Church said.

Email: rhussain@suntimes.com

Twitter: @rummanahussain



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