Two Suspects from Broward County Targeted Rahm House, Obama HQ: Reports - NBC 6 South Florida

Two Suspects from Broward County Targeted Rahm House, Obama HQ: Reports

Each held Saturday on $1.5 million bond



    Lawyer Speaks Out on Behalf of Terror Suspects

    A lawyer with the National Lawyers Guild says charges against a set of protesters accused of terrorism in relation to what they say is home brewing equipment speaks out. (Published Saturday, May 19, 2012)

    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.

    The men arrested Wednesday in an apartment building in the Bridgeport neighborhood. They're accused of trying to make Molotov cocktails ahead of the two-day summit that starts Sunday.

    They were each held Saturday on $1.5 million bond.

    Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla. and Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, N.H. and were being held on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism, possession of an explosive or incendiary device and providing material support.
    Six others arrested with them have been released without charges.

    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.
    State's Attorney Anita Alvarez and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy are planning a press conference Saturday to detail the case. 

    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.

    The arrests sparked a Thursday evening demonstration through Lincoln Park