Now the NATO Summit is over and done, some people are asking questions about a string of alleged terrorist plots foiled by Chicago law enforcement.
Before the NATO Summit began, around 11 men were arrested in 3 separate incidents. Now that the Summit is over, many of the alleged terrorists have been released with no charges made against them and virtually no explanation from investigators in the cases.
Among those still in jail, all have been linked to 2 alleged police informants, "Mo", a male, and "Gloves", a female. These informants are believed to have worked undercover with the police to infiltrate the Chicago activism community.
Their attorney, Sarah Gelsomino of the National Lawyers Guild states that the alleged crimes were perpetrated by Chicago Police Officers and that the whole thing "reeks of entrapment".
Other persons who were arrested on similar charges say that the alleged crimes in these cases are "full of holes" and seem equally suspicious.
Of the 11 arrested, 3 remain in custody for allegedly conspiring to commit terrorism, possessing an explosive incendiary device and providing material support for terrorism.
The suspects were arrested in a raid in Bridgeport, Chicago with 9 other suspects. However, after 2 days, 6 of these men were quietly released without being charged.
Robert Lamorte, who was among the arrested told the Chicago Tribune that he had only been in Chicago for an hour when he was arrested by police in riot gear, with weapons drawn.
Lamorte tells the paper, "I'm leaving here first chance I get. I don't want to deal with any more problems."
He states that he was never informed of the crimes he was accused of committing before his release with no charges.
Among those arrested during the raid were a male in his mid-30's and a 66-year-old grandfather. They told the Tribute that they were handcuffed and shackled for 18 hours and were refused access to a bathroom. They state that they were never read their constitutional rights.
36-year-old Darrin Annussek told the Tribune, "None of us were told why this was happening.”
3 men remain in custody over the alleged terrorism crime, Brian Church (22), Jared Chase (27) and Brent Betterly (24)
The men are being represented by an attorney who claims his clients were the victims of entrapment.
Lawyer Michael Deutsch said at a hearing on Saturday: “This is a way to stir up prejudice against a people who are exercising their First Amendment rights. There were undercover police officers that ingratiated themselves with people who come from out of town."
Law enforcement is alleging that the 3 men had equipment which they intended to use to make homemade Molotov cocktails with which to target the Chicago campaign headquarters of U.S. President Barack Obama and the home of the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel.
Cook county state attorney, Anita Alvarez told a news conference after the bond hearing that “The men had been making Molotov cocktails out of empty beer bottles filled with gasoline and fitted with cut bandanas for fuses,”
She continued: “It is pretty clear from the evidence they were making the bombs. There was a lot of discussion about making these Molotov cocktails and what they were going to do with them.”
Following the arrests, a spokesperson for the National Lawyers Guild told reporters that the house contained supplies for home-brewing beer, not explosives.
Occupy Chicago member Natalie Wahlberg told the Tribune, "The charges are utterly ridiculous. CPD [Chicago police department] doesn't know the difference between home beer-making supplies and Molotov cocktails,”
The 3 men arrested are being held on bail of $1.5 million.
28-year-old Mark Neiween and 24-year-old Sebastian Senakiewicz were both arrested on Thursday in 2 separate incidents.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, investigators state that Neiween allegedly met with sources to discuss the acquisition of bomb parts. Prosecutors state that Senakiewicz had claimed that he would blow up a train overpass in Chicago with a vehicle full of weapons. The newspaper added that Senakiewicz told officers that he had no explosives, and authorities were unable to find any at his residence.
Authorities also could not find any explosives tied to Neiween.
Senakiewicz’s attorney, Molly Armour, told AP, "He is being targeted because of his beliefs. These charges are extremely sensational."
Relating to Neiweem, Sarah Gelsomino, a defense attorney states that they “have seen zero evidence” from prosecutors.
Gelsomino and another attorney, Steven Saltzman, both acting for Mr Neiweem, told Bloomberg news that they believe "Mo" and "Gloves" (mentioned above) were working as police informants for the CPD. Gelsomino added that other activists in the area have met "Mo" and "Gloves" at rallies and meetings in recent weeks, and that they now fear that they may also be targeted.
An aide for the National Lawyers Guild, Kris Hermes, told AP, "Even if charges are dropped or reduced later, they will have succeeded in spreading fear and intimidation."