Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ NATO 3 defense hails ‘huge victory’— prosecutor insists ‘this is not a defeat’ ]]> Lead story image

Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly were the first in Chicago to be charged as terrorists under a state law that was created after the 9/11 attacks. But like the crude Molotov cocktails the out-of-town activists allegedly constructed out of beer bottles, the serious charges — while explosive — ultimately never took flight. A jury Friday acquitted Church, 22; Chase, 29, and Betterly, 25, of terrorism-related charges ]]> Sun, 09 Mar 2014 06:18:44 -0600 <![CDATA[ NATO 3 judge sends jurors home; deliberations to resume Friday ]]> Lead story image

The NATO 3 were described as a trio of drunken “goofs”and their alleged ringleader, Brian Church, a “wayward confused man.” Now it’s up to Cook County jurors to determine whether Church, 22, Jared Chase, 29, and Brent Betterly, 25, were something more Machiavellian and evil: terrorists. ]]> Sat, 08 Mar 2014 06:25:28 -0600 <![CDATA[ NATO activist was drunk when discussing terrorism: lawyer ]]> Lead story image

A lawyer for one of three out-of-town men facing terrorism charges for allegedly conspiring to create havoc at the 2012 NATO conference, argued in court Tuesday that his beer-swilling client may have been drunk on the idea of revolution. But when it came to actually following through on his bold rhetoric, Jared Chase, 29, fell far short of his professed zeal, Thomas Durkin, argued before a Cook County jury. ]]> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 23:57:50 -0600 <![CDATA[ ‘Nice work,’ undercover cops tells NATO3 defendant accused of making Molotov cocktails ]]> Lead story image

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 … ]]> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 06:30:42 -0600 <![CDATA[ Judge scolds activists’ lawyers at NATO 3 trial ]]> Lead story image

A day before three out-of-town protesters were arrested for allegedly making Molotov cocktails to use during the NATO Summit, one of the men went into a Bridgeport gas station and tried to fill up an empty milk carton with gasoline, the gas station’s former manager testified Tuesday. Abdullah Norat said Brian Church came into the BP, at 3047 S. Halsted, on May 15, 2012 and said he needed $2 worth of gas for his lawn mower. ]]> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 14:39:05 -0600 <![CDATA[ Activist’s fingerprints found on alleged Molotov cocktail: expert ]]> Lead story image

Two fingerprints on an alleged Molotov cocktail bottle found in a Bridgeport apartment in the days leading up to the May 2012 NATO summit belonged to out-of-town activist Brian Church, a forensic scientist with the Illinois State Police testified Monday. ]]> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 13:08:16 -0600 <![CDATA[ Cop testifies that he believes NATO 3 scouted out downtown terrorism targets ]]> Lead story image

A Chicago Police officer testified Friday that he believes three out-of-town activists drove by the Chicago Board of Trade, several banks and within “two or three” blocks of President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters in order to identify targets to attack during the NATO summit. “I believe they were on a mission scouting out targets for criminal activity,” said Russell Bacius, the officer who had placed a GPS tracker under the maroon Ford Taurus used by Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly in the spring of 2012. But during cross-examination in the NATO3’s terrorism trial, Bacius conceded that he didn’t know if the men were actually in the vehicle when it was downtown. ]]> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 06:12:47 -0600 <![CDATA[ NATO 3 on trial: ‘Ready to see a cop on fire?’ ]]> Lead story image

Recordings that allegedly capture three out-of-town activists making Molotov cocktails out of beer bottles before the 2012 NATO summit were played in court Thursday. While Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly are heard making sounds mimicking explosions, at times, they sound like they aren’t so sure they know what they want to do with the firebombs undercover officer Nadia Chikko said she saw them make. ]]> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 06:28:26 -0600 <![CDATA[ NATO 3 trial: Recordings played of alleged plans to attack Obama HQ ]]> Lead story image

Cook County prosecutors Wednesday played several recordings in which two of the three out-of-town activists known as the NATO 3 allegedly discuss their plans to attack Chicago Police officers and President Barack Obama’s downtown campaign headquarters during the 2012 international summit. ]]> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 13:14:50 -0600 <![CDATA[ Were NATO 3 terrorists or drunken ‘goofs’? Trial gets underway ]]> Lead story image

When three out-of-town activists now known as the NATO3 descended upon the city, Cook County prosecutors said they were eager to make international headlines with a malevolent plan that included setting Chicago Police officers on fire. But what authorities described as terrorism was more “bravado” and “idle chatter” of big mouthed “goofs” who were plied with alcohol by undercover cops desperate for an arrest before the 2012 NATO Summit, defense attorneys said at the opening of the men’s trial Tuesday. ]]> Sun, 23 Feb 2014 06:30:44 -0600 <![CDATA[ Four of 11 counts dropped against NATO 3 ]]> Lead story image

Cook County prosecutors have dismissed some arson and weapons charges against the out-of-town protesters known as NATO3, lawyers confirmed Tuesday. ]]> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 13:20:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ NATO 3 go to trial: Violent plotters or entrapped agitators? ]]> Lead story image

While a team led by a high-ranking prosecutor will likely paint the group, known as the NATO 3, as violent schemers, defense attorneys are ready to demonstrate that the three men were entrapped by law enforcement officials and falsely depicted as extremely dangerous. ]]> Sat, 08 Feb 2014 06:07:46 -0600 <![CDATA[ Protester arrested during NATO demonstration sues city ]]>

A man arrested during last year’s NATO protests is suing the city, claiming Chicago Police beat and dragged him after he was involuntarily pushed into a line of officers. ]]> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 00:46:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ NATO protester gets 3 years in prison for trying to buy pipe bomb ]]> Lead story image

A NATO protester was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday after he admitted he tried to buy a pipe bomb during the protests in Chicago last year. ]]> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 12:09:15 -0600 <![CDATA[ NATO 3 lose bid to get terrorism charges dropped ]]> Lead story image

A Cook County judge Wednesday rejected the so-called NATO 3 activists’ motion to drop terrorism charges stemming from the out-of-town protesters’ arrest last spring. ]]> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 12:00:02 -0600