Two Broward County men were among three arrested this week in a nighttime police raid after they planned to attack four police stations, President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house, according to court documents.
They were each held Saturday on $1.5 million bond.
About a dozen NATO summit demonstrators have since turned up outside a south Chicago courthouse where the three activists are to appear on terrorism conspiracy charges.
The arrested were staying at the home of William Vassilakis. He was among those outside the courthouse Saturday and said the charges against the three men are "bogus."
Vassilakis called the police action a "scare tactic" to dissuade people from protesting.
Their attorney, Sarah Gelsomino, said the men were "absolutely in shock and have no idea where these charges are coming from."
"The National Lawyers Guild deplores the charges against Occupy activists in the strongest degree," Gelsomino said in a statement decrying the charges. "It's outrageous for the city to apply terrorism charges when it's the police who have been terrorizing activists and threatening their right to protest."
The accused said they weren't making explosives but homemade beer.
"We were handcuffed to a bench and our legs were shackled together. We were not told what was happening," one of the men arrested, Darrin Ammussek of Philadelphia, told NBC Chicago. "I believe very strongly in non-violence, and if I had seen anything that even resembled any plans or anything like that, we wouldn’t have been there."
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy declined to discuss the incident when asked about it Friday.
"We’re not going to talk about it, it’s an ongoing investigation that is not completed, we are not going to talk about it," he said.