Reporting Brad Edwards
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CHICAGO (CBS) -– Three anti-NATO protesters stand charged with plotting to target police stations–and other locations–with Molotov cocktails during the NATO Summit.
But who are they?
In court documents, one suspect, Brian Church, asked the group “if others had ever seen a cop on fire.”
That is in stark contrast to the image portrayed by Church’s attorney, who said Church was going to school to save lives. According to Michael Deutsch, he was enrolled in a program to be trained as an EMT.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez told a much different story.
“These individuals charged today are self-proclaimed anarchists, who traveled together from Florida to the Chicago area,” she said.
Those charged, now known on Twitter as the NATO 3 are: Brian Church, 22, Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, and Jared Chase, 27 have a low-level criminal past, like petty thievery.
The three, who have been charged with possessing explosives to commit terrorist acts, were witnessed by undercover police investigators making the fire bombs inside an apartment in Bridgeport, authorities say. They have been under surveillance for several days and arrested on Wednesday.
Their attorney says the trio is stunned by the allegations.
“Oh, they’re telling me that’s not true, that’s not true,” he said. “They heard all these things for the first time.”
Jared Chase describes himself as a DJ and a sports fan.
On May 2, he posted a link from CBS Chicago on his Facebook page, referring to himself in a picture in the story about an Occupy Chicago protest on Bank of America. “That’s me again, LOL,” he posted.
It’s thought the group may have met around those May Day protests.
Another telling note from Chase’s Facebook when he wrote in March: “F— you homeland security fagoots”
This is potentially the first such time terrorism charges brought at the state level here, authorities say.