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‘Nice work,’ undercover cops tells NATO3 defendant accused of making Molotov cocktails

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 5, 2014 6:30AM



Trying to avoid suspicion, the undercover Chicago Police officer turned to his partner and asked her to watch over his backpack while he and one of the NATO 3 defendants allegedly bought gasoline to make Molotov cocktails.

Hidden inside the backpack was a device recording the conversations of the three out-of-town activists, who are on trial on terrorism charges. They’re accused of conspiring to create havoc during the 2012 NATO summit.

Snippets of those conversations — which captured Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly allegedly discussing and constructing the homemade incendiary devices — were played Monday for the jury that will decide the trio’s fate.

Undercover Police Officer Mehmet Uygun testified that he left his backpack with his partner, Nadia Chikko, at the Bridgeport three-flat where the out-of-towners were staying. He then accompanied defendant Jared Chase to buy gas to make Molotov cocktails at a nearby service station.

Chase filled a red gas can and paid roughly $3 for the gas, which Uygun previously offered to help pay for. Uygun testified that he pressed a button to activate the pump for Chase.

On the way back, Chase asked Uygun carry the gas can so that he could smoke a cigarette, the officer testified.

“Do you know what’s really cool? Napalm bombs,” Chase said on their way back, according to the officer’s testimony.

But the recordings also demonstrate that the officer helped the would-be terrorists construct the Molotov cocktails and captured him praising their efforts.

“Good job, man . . . Nice work,” Uygun, who went by the aliases “Mo” and “Turk,” said when one of the defendants finished making the Molotov cocktails, according to a transcript of the recording.

Uygun testified that he did not help the group construct the devices, though he later agreed during cross-examination that he had cut strips from a rag to use as wicks.

“Anybody got a knife?” Uygun asked, while looking for something to cut the rags into wicks.

Later, after the Molotov cocktails were completed, Uygun was supposed to stash them in his backpack and then place them in Church’s Ford Taurus. Instead he hid them in the bathroom of the apartment.

Shortly after, the police arrived to serve a search warrant, seizing the Molotov cocktails.

Cross-examination of the officer is slated to resume Tuesday morning before Cook County Judge Thaddeus Wilson.

Email: bslodysko@suntimes.com

Twitter: @BrianSlodysko



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