NATO Protesters Convicted Of Arson And Mob Charges, But Not Terrorism

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CHICAGO (AP) — A jury acquitted three NATO summit protesters Friday of breaking Illinois’ rarely tested state terrorism law, but did convict them on lesser arson counts.

Prosecutors described the men — Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Vincent Betterly — as dangerous anarchists who were plotting to throw Molotov cocktails at President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters and other Chicago sites during the 2012 summit. Undercover officers infiltrated the group and the men were arrested before the summit began.

Defense lawyers scoffed at the portrayal of their clients as terrorists. They described them as drunken goofs who were goaded into the Molotov cocktail plot by the officers.

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