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'NATO 3' plead not guilty in alleged firebomb plot

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Authorities said Brian Church, Brent Betterly and Jared Chase plotted to attack President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters during this year's NATO Summit.

Three men known as the "NATO 3" pleaded not guilty Monday to charges they plotted to blow up political targets during the NATO summit in Chicago in May, NBCChicago.com reported

Brent Betterly, 24, Jared Chase, 24, and Brian Church, 20, were each charged with four felony counts that included material support for terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and other related charges, the station reported. 

Authorities accused the three of plotting to firebomb Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home, the station reported.

Other alleged targets included police stations and the Prudential Building campaign headquarters of President Barack Obama.

The Chicago Tribune reported the defendants were arrested during a raid at an apartment where they had been staying.

According to NBCChicago.com, the defendants were being held on $1.5 million bond.

Defense attorneys argued the three were victims of police infiltrators who were the true conspirators of the alleged crimes. 

See original story n NBCChicago.com

"The state is intent on continuing its strategy to sensationalize this case," said Church's attorney, Michael Deutsch.

The trio was dubbed the "NATO 3" by supporters.

The station reported a crowd from the "Occupy Chicago" movement stood in a show of support for the trio in the Cook County courtroom. The trail date has been set for July 22. 

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Two other men were arraigned Monday for alleged crimes during the summit. 

Mark Neiweem is charged with two counts related to explosives. Authorities say he met with someone in a forest preserve to obtain materials to make a pipe bomb. Sebastian Senakiewicz is charged with four counts of falsely making a terrorist threat, the station reported. 

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