Jared Chase, Brent Betterly, and Brian Church, "NATO 3," Charged With Terrorism in Chicago

Categories: Politics
Chase, Betterly, and Church.
Cops Say South Florida Protesters Busted in Chicago Are Terrorists; Friends Call Bullshit

Three men formerly associated with Occupy Fort Lauderdale were charged today in Chicago with 11 counts, including conspiracy to commit terrorism, possession of explosives, and attempted arson. Each is being held on a $1.5 million bond awaiting trial, possibly as early as this month.

Brian Church and Brent Betterly are from Fort Lauderdale and Oakland Park, while Jared Chase is from New Hampshire. They're accused of making Molotov cocktails to be used during the May NATO convention in Chicago. All three are in their early 20s, and their friends and attorneys say they are peaceful activists who were set up by federal informants. Friends say the four "Molotov cocktails" seized by the feds was actually beer-brewing equipment.

In an MSNBC piece by former New Times writer Thomas Francis, people who knew the trio in Fort Lauderdale expressed disbelief that the young men would have been involved in any kind of "terrorist" plot.

But the arrests apparently didn't quench the thirst of the feds for actionable intelligence: Shortly after Francis' piece was published, some of the people interviewed were allegedly tracked and questioned by law enforcement.

Prosecutors revealed that they have an audio recording, allegedly of the defendants talking about a bomb plot. Federal and local agencies spent a fortune on security patrols and intelligence at the NATO summit, although protests were largely peaceful.

But anxiety and misinformation remain. In today's story about the charges, the Sun-Sentinel describes the men as "members of an anarchist group known as Black Bloc." Black Bloc isn't a group but rather a widely used protest tactic in which people dress uniformly in black, often with masks, in an attempt to dilute the attention of police officers and match the visual solidarity of their uniforms.

"Two other alleged members of Black Bloc face unrelated charges stemming from the investigation," adds the Sun-Sentinel.

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Sage Rad
Sage Rad

I know Jared Chase from his time in Boston.  He came from NH to find work and found work in a PF Changs chinese restaurant. I met him washing dishes. As i know him, he is a fine young man who had hope to change the world due to seeing the Occupy Movement rise and finally give a bit of power to common people. Those who make assumptions and believe the police need to have their head checked. Police DO lie. They are NOT always to be believed. They DO set people up on purpose. Justice is NOT always served by the law and order system in this country. People like Robert Walsh would have been the first one to get a job in the gassing chambers in Nazi Germany. THEY are who we should fear -- lying cops, prejudging judges, and people who thing (or not) like sheep. Actually sheep show more independent judgment.

Sage Rad
Sage Rad

Yeah Robert Walsh -- -not to see a Cubs game, but to PROTEST -- what is your problem? You are a total jerk you piece of sh**&*t for talking like that about someone who is most likely wrongfully in jail. Since when is traveling to a protest illegal and worth spending your life in jail? You are so low.

City Activist Robert Walsh
City Activist Robert Walsh

I am not in disbelief, i saw this Betterly dread locks and all, at City Hall in Ft.Lau. Yes he and his gang(where's the fat one  w/ th e pink hair, oh yeah she shoul d be charged w/ assessory after the fact. This pink haired bitch knew they where going to Chicago, and not to see a cubs game. Yes, there trial date is set for July of next year. Good luck jerkin off (in Jail) until then guys..

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