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'NATO 3' can be tried under terror law

March 28, 2013 at 3:27 PM
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CHICAGO, March 28 (UPI) -- An Illinois judge has declined to drop terrorism charges against three men accused of planning violence during the NATO summit in Chicago last year.

Cook County Judge Thaddeus Wilson said the state terrorism law under which the so-called "NATO 3" were charged was "constitutional on its face," the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

Wilson said the attorneys for Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Vincent Betterly could still argue the constitutionality of the law when the case goes to trial later this year.

The trio are charged with plotting to attack President Obama's campaign headquarters and the mayor's home during the summit.

The terrorism charges their attorneys wanted thrown out include providing material support for terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and two counts of possession of an incendiary device with intent to commit an act of terrorism.

It is only the second time the law has been used since it was passed following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Chase's attorney, Thomas Durkin, slammed authorities for "selectively" using the law, charging they "pulled this statute out of their bag of tricks just for publicity purposes."

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