Case wrapping up in Chicago terrorism trial

February 6, 2014

The Associated Press

AP Photo/Chicago Police Department
File: This combo made of undated file photos provided by the Chicago Police Department shows from left, Brent Vincent Betterly, of Oakland Park, Fla., Jared Chase, of Keene, N.H., and Brian Church, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. On Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, closing are scheduled at Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago for the three men who are charged under Illinois terrorism statutes with plotting Molotov cocktail attacks during the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago.

Closings arguments are expected for three NATO protesters who are being tried in a case that raises questions about what constitutes a terrorist.

Thursday's arguments are expected to address charges that the three activists plotted Molotov cocktail attacks at NATO's 2012 summit in Chicago. One purported target was to be President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters.

The trial is a test case for rarely used Illinois terrorism laws. More than 30 states passed such laws after 9/11 in largely symbolic bills because federal prosecutors typically try terrorism cases.

Cook County prosecutors say the three suspects are savvy anarchists who were bent on setting parts of Chicago ablaze. But the defense says they are not terrorists, arguing they were too drunk to have seriously considered plots suggested by undercover police.

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