Three NATO protesters face terror charges: Report

AFP, Saturday 19 May 2012

Three NATO summit protesters were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism in Chicago, as they were accused of planning to use Molotov cocktails and possession of an explosive device

About 100 anti-war activists marched down outside President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters in downtown Chicago, protesting for an end to NATO operations in Afghanistan, Thursday, May 17, 2012, in Chicago. (Photo: AP)

Three NATO summit protesters suspected of planning to throw Molotov cocktails have been charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism and possession of an explosive device, the Chicago Sun Times reported Saturday.

The Sun-Times reported that the three men were arrested after being pulled over in their car by police last week and questioned about their protest plans.

Fears that demonstrations could turn violent have put Chicago on edge, with some downtown businesses even telling office workers to ditch their suits and ties and dress down to avoid being hassled or targeted on the streets.

The three men have each been charged with possession of an explosive or incendiary device, conspiracy to commit terrorism, and providing material support to terrorism, the paper said citing said Harrison District Police Lieutenant Kenneth Stoppa.

Chicago police contacted by AFP said they were not able to provide any information about the report but said a statement may be available later in the day.

Police and protest organizers have vowed that there will be no repeat of the trouble that erupted at G20 summits in London and Toronto or the riots that scarred Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Several street protests held so far this week have been peaceful, and most of the 14 people arrested were engaged in acts of civil disobedience such as refusing to leave the building housing President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters.

The three men charged were identified in the report as Brian Church, 20, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, New Hampshire; and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Florida.

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