Nato summit - 2 more activists charged

2012-05-20 21:33

Chicago - Prosecutors said on Sunday they have charged two more people as part of their investigation into activists who planned to take part in demonstrations against the two-day Nato summit.

The Cook County State's Attorney's office said Sebastian Senakiewicz, 24, of Chicago, is charged with falsely making a terrorist threat. Mark Neiweem, 28, who authorities believe to be from Chicago, is charged with attempted possession of explosives or incendiary devices.

The men were scheduled to make an initial court appearance later on Sunday, when prosecutors were expected to offer more details about their allegations. Also expected in court on Sunday is a third man, Taylor Hall, who was arrested during Saturday night protests and is charged with aggravated battery to a police officer.

Authorities did not immediately release Hall's age or home town.

The latest charges came a day after three other activists appeared in court and were accused of manufacturing Molotov cocktails and having plans to attack President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home, and other targets during the Nato protests.

Kris Hermes, an attorney with the leftist National Lawyers Guild, which has represented many of the activists, said the new charges were an "effort to frighten people and to diminish the size of the demonstrations." Hermes said on Sunday that his group has tried but failed to obtain details from authorities about the charges.

"Like with the others, police have given us minimal information... next to nothing," he said.

The trio charged on Saturday are Brian Church, 20, of Ft Lauderdale, Florida; Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, New Hampshire; and, Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Florida. They were arrested on Wednesday and face charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism, material support for terrorism and possession of explosives.

Intimidating protesters

Senakiewicz was arrested a day later and there was no immediate indication that he had links to Church, Chase or Betterly. It also wasn't clear when Neiweem was arrested and if he had any links to the other charged activists.

Defence lawyer Michael Deutsch on Saturday accused police of setting up their clients in an attempt to frighten peaceful protesters. He said undercover officers brought the fire bombs  to a South Side apartment where the men were arrested.

Critics say filing terrorism-related charges against the protesters is reminiscent of previous police actions ahead of major political events, when authorities moved quickly to prevent suspected plots but sometimes quietly dropped the charges later.

"Even if charges are dropped or reduced later, they will have succeeded in spreading fear and intimidation," Hermes said.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on Saturday flatly dismissed the idea the arrests of the initial three suspects were anything more than an effort to stop "an imminent threat".

Prosecutors said Church, Chase and Betterly used fuel purchased from a Chicago petrol station for makeshift bombs, pouring it into beer bottles and cutting up bandannas to serve as fuses. If convicted on all counts, they could get up to 85 years in prison. They are each being held on $1.5m bond.

- AP
Read more on:    nato  |  us  |  protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.