'NATO 3' plead not guilty

July 3, 2012 at 1:50 PM
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CHICAGO, July 3 (UPI) -- Three men accused of plotting to blow up political targets at the recent NATO summit in Chicago have pleaded innocent to the charges.

Brent Betterly, 24, Jared Chase, 24, and Brian Church, 20, known as the "NATO 3," are each charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, possession of explosives and attempted arson. They appeared in court Monday and pleaded not guilty to charges they planned to firebomb targets during the NATO summit in Chicago.

The police raided their apartment May 16, two weeks after receiving permission from a Cook County judge to record the defendants' conversations secretly.

Police said they found four Molotov cocktails in the apartment and alleged they were for use against police stations, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home and President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The defendants are being held in protective custody on $1.5 million bond. A tentative trial date was set for July 22, 2013.

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