Three activists who travelled to Chicago for this weekend’s NATO summit were accused Saturday of manufacturing Molotov cocktails in a plot to attack U.S. President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home and other targets.
But defence lawyers shot back that Chicago police had trumped up the charges to frighten peaceful protesters away, telling a judge it was undercover officers known by the activists as “Mo” and “Gloves” who brought the firebombs to a South Side apartment where the men were arrested.
“This is just propaganda to create a climate of fear,” Michael Deutsch said. “My clients came to peacefully protest.”
On the eve of the summit, the dramatic allegations were reminiscent of previous police actions ahead of major political events, when authorities moved quickly to prevent suspected plots but sometimes quietly dropped the charges, or lost the cases in court, later. Toronto computer expert Byron Sonne’s ordeal stemming from the G20 summit there two years ago is just the latest example; Sonne spent 11 months in jail on bomb-plot accusations before being cleared of all charges this week by a judge who found he had no ill intent whatsoever.