2 more activists charged related to NATO summit

Associated Press Modified: May 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm •  Published: May 20, 2012
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CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors charged two more activists Sunday with crimes tied to the two-day NATO summit, accusing one of saying he wanted to blow up a downtown Chicago bridge and a second with seeking to build pipe bombs.

But attorneys for the two men said the charges were manufactured by a pair police informants or undercover officers they know as "Mo" and "Gloves," and again accused authorities of trumping up a case to scare protesters in town for the summit.

"He is being targeted because of his beliefs," defense attorney Molly Armour said of her client, Sebastian Senakiewicz. "These charges are extremely sensational."

The Cook County State's Attorney's office charged Senakiewicz, 24, of Chicago, with falsely making a terrorist threat. Mark Neiweem, 28, of Chicago, is charged with attempted possession of explosives or incendiary devices. Both men were arrested Thursday.

Prosecutors told a judge at a Sunday court appearance that Senakiewicz, a Polish native, said he could blow up a bridge in downtown Chicago. They accused him of bragging repeatedly about having explosives and said he claimed to have hid them in a hollowed out Harry Potter book. Prosecutors said searches did not uncover explosives.

Prosecutors said Neiweem wanted to build a pipe bomb and wrote a list of ingredients required, including model rocket engines.

A Cook County judge set bond at $750,000 for Senakiewicz and $500,000 for Neiweem. Defense attorney Sarah Gelsomino said after the hearing the bond amounts were "punitively high."

The charges came a day after three other activists appeared in court and were accused of manufacturing Molotov cocktails and harboring plans to attack President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters and other targets during the NATO meeting.

The trio charged Saturday are Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, N.H.; and, Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla. They were arrested on Wednesday and face charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism, material support for terrorism and possession of explosives.

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