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NATO protesters charged with terror conspiracy in Chicago

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NATO summit

NATO protesters charged with terror conspiracy in Chicago

Group accused of making Molotov cocktails

  • Police in Chicago have geared up for protesters ahead of the NATO summit that begins Sunday.
    RussiaToday screengrabPolice in Chicago have geared up for protesters ahead of the NATO summit that begins Sunday.

Three protesters at the NATO summit in Chicago have been charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, police said Saturday.

They are accused of plotting to make Molotov cocktails, the Chicago Tribune reported. They were also charged with providing material support for terrorism and possession of an explosive or incendiary device.

A police spokesman identified the men as Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, NH., and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla.

They were among nine people arrested in a raid on an apartment in the Bridgeport area of Chicago on Wednesday night, after what the Tribune said was a month-long police investigation into a group suspected of making Molotov cocktails.

The six others have been released without charge, according to the Associated Press.

The protesters maintain that the only equipment found in the apartment was for brewing their own beer, NBC Chicago said.

The National Lawyers Guild, which is representing the three defendants, said the police had failed to produce any evidence of criminal intent or wrongdoing.

"It's outrageous for the city to apply terrorism charges when it's the police who have been terrorizing activists and threatening their right to protest," said attorney Sarah Gelsomino. The three men had been stopped and questioned on the street by police a few days prior to their arrest "for no apparent reason," the Guild's statement said.

Police in Chicago have described NATO protests so far as "very peaceful." Just one arrest was reported during rallies Friday.

The NATO summit begins Sunday.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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