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NATO Summit Chicago: 2 More Activists Arrested, Charged With Terrorism-Related Activities

By MICHAEL TARM 05/20/12 06:09 PM ET AP

CHICAGO — Prosecutors on Sunday charged two more activists with crimes tied to the NATO summit, accusing one of boasting that he could blow up a downtown Chicago bridge and that he concealed some explosives in a hollowed-out Harry Potter novel.

But defense attorneys said after the men appeared in court Sunday the allegations were trumped up by informants or undercover officers known as "Mo" and "Gloves." The aim, they argued, was 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."

Senakiewicz, 24, of Chicago, is charged with falsely making a terrorist threat. Mark Neiweem, 28, of Chicago, is charged with attempted possession of explosives or incendiary devices after he allegedly sought materials to construct a pipe bomb.

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

Prosecutors told a judge at a Sunday court appearance that Senakiewicz, a Polish native, bragged about possessing explosives, supposedly concealing some in the children's novel. But searches did not uncover explosives, prosecutors said.

In court documents, prosecutors said Senakiewicz indicated he is an anarchist who was "upset with the lack of chaos in Chicago."

Neiweem wrote a list of ingredients required to build a pipe bomb and indicated that model rocket engines for the device could be purchased at Hobby Lobby stores, Cook County prosecutors said.

"We have seen zero evidence," said Sarah Gelsomino, another defense attorney. She also complained the men, both arrested Thursday, were held for more than 65 hours before their initial court appearance in a violation of their civil rights.

Looking tired and anxious, Senakiewicz appeared in court wearing a brown AC/DC T-shirt. Neiweem, tattooed on his neck and behind his ears, stared down at the floor dejectedly.

"They are terrified – completely terrified," Armour told reporters outside the courtroom.

A judge set bond at $750,000 for Senakiewicz and $500,000 for Neiweem. Gelsomino complained later that the bond amounts were "punitively high" and the men would be unable to raise the money to get out.

The men intend to plead not guilty when they are arraigned May 23, Gelsomino said.

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

Prosecutors said the two men charged Sunday have no connection to Church, Chase or Betterly. But defense attorneys said there is a common thread: "Mo" and "Gloves." They allege that the two befriended all five of the charged activists and appeared to steer them into activities that could be perceived as illegal.

"Mo" and "Gloves" began befriending activists in the Chicago area in early May and were present when Church, Chase or Betterly were arrested, Gelsomino said. She said many activists in Chicago for the NATO protests knew "Mo" and "Gloves" – a man and a woman – and are now worried they could also be arrested.

Critics say filing terrorism-related charges against protesters is reminiscent of previous police actions ahead of major political events, when authorities moved quickly to prevent suspected plots but sometimes quietly dropped the charges later.

McCarthy on Saturday flatly dismissed the idea the arrests of the initial three suspects were anything more than an effort to stop "an imminent threat."

Kris Hermes, an aide with the National Lawyers Guild, which has represented many of the activists, said the charges against Senakiewicz and Neiweem are also an "effort to frighten people and to diminish the size of the demonstrations."

"Even if charges are dropped or reduced later, they will have succeeded in spreading fear and intimidation," he said.

Prosecutors said Church, Chase and Betterly used fuel purchased from a Chicago gas station for makeshift bombs, pouring it into beer bottles and cutting up bandanas to serve as fuses. If convicted on all counts, they could get up to 85 years in prison. They are each being held on $1.5 million bond.

A third man, Taylor Hall, 23, of Pittsburgh, Pa., was arrested during Saturday night protests and also appeared in court Sunday. He is charged with aggravated battery to a police officer.

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Associated Press Writer Don Babwin contributed to this report.

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Follow Michael Tarm at www.twitter.com/mtarm

Earlier on HuffPost:

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  • An anti-NATO protestor flashes peace signs during a march, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • A bleeding anti-NATO protestor is comforted after a scuffle with police during a march, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • A bride and groom walk past as Chicago Occupy Wall Street Protesters march through the streets of downtown Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2012, on the eve of the NATO summit. After a decade in Afghanistan, NATO leaders gather for a key summit May 20, 2012, hoping for a show of unity in the final two years of combat -- even though allies are eager to bring troops home. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chicago Occupy Wall Street Protesters march through the streets of downtown Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2012, on the eve of the NATO summit. After a decade in Afghanistan, NATO leaders gather for a key summit May 20, 2012, hoping for a show of unity in the final two years of combat -- even though allies are eager to bring troops home. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A Chicago Occupy Wall Street Protester marches down Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2012, on the eve of the NATO summit. After a decade in Afghanistan, NATO leaders gather for a key summit May 20, 2012, hoping for a show of unity in the final two years of combat -- even though allies are eager to bring troops home. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A NATO protestor is arrested after refusing to let go of a police bicycle, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Amy Rule, Rahm Emanuel

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are greeted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, center, and wife Amy Rule, during their arrival at O

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at Chicago O

  • Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Amy Rule

    President Barack Obama center, talks with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel right, and his wife Amy Rule left, before boarding Marine One, after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Saturday, May, 19, 2012. Obama traveled to Chicago to host the two-day NATO summit. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • President of France François Hollande arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • Ivo Daalder

    Ivo Daalder, US Ambassador to NATO sings during the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field during the seventh inning of an interleague baseball game with the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

  • A protester sits in front of Chicago police officers on State Street during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • A protester marches next Chicago police mounted patrols on Michigan Avenue during a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • A police officer wrestles with the hand of an NATO protestor who refused to let go of her bicycle, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • An anti-NATO protestor commandeers a police barricade during a march, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • A protester holds a sign as he marches during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • Magode

    Chicago police officer captain Magode, center, talks with protesters on State Street during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Police officers line up as protesters march during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • NATO Flags

    Flags representing the NATO countries are displayed at Wrigley Field in a pregame ceremony before an interleague baseball game with the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

  • Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • NATO demonstrators march towards Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Sheik Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • Brent Vincent Betterly, Jared Chase, Brian Church

    This combo made from undated photos released Saturday, May 19, 2012 by the Chicago Police Department shows from left, Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla., Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, N.H., and Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The three men arrested Wednesday, May 16, 2012, in Chicago, accused of making Molotov cocktails with plans to attack President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home and other targets during this weekend's NATO summit, according to prosecutors at a court hearing Saturday. The three were arrested in a nighttime raid of an apartment in the city's South Side Bridgeport neighborhood ahead of the two-day meeting. (AP Photo/Chicago Police Department)

  • Occupy Chicago protesters march down Montrose Avenue to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emaunel's house during a demonstration Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protesters march on Montrose Avenue during a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Occupy Chicago protesters sit in the street outside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emaunel's house during a march and demonstration Saturday, May 19 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Ivan Gasparovic, president of the Slovak Republic, arrives arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • Protesters walk past Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • A protester walks past Chicago police officers outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago, ahead of this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protester Chris Litchfield, left, from Wooster, Mass., copies the emergency legal assistance number off the arm of Mitch L. Miller, from Washington, Saturday, May 19 2012, ahead of this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Garry McCarthy

    Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, right, talks with one of his commanders across the street at Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house Saturday, May 19, 2012, ahead of this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protesters gather at Irving Park Brown Line to canvas Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's neighborhood as part of a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Protesters march in front of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house as part of a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Who should I be shooting?

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Keith_Habersberger"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/22914183/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Keith_Habersberger">Keith Habersberger</a>:<br />John Adams asked this gentleman "who I would be shooting right now?" and he couldn't say... wonder if he ever thinks about the lives of the people he thinks John Adams would shoot? www.imadeamerica.com

  • May 18: Police lined up with bicycles to prevent protesters from entering the street... accept there weren't any protesters after the first few minutes. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • May 18: CPD blocked stairwell exits off Michigan Ave at Illinois to push Occupy protesters from the splinter march down Michigan. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • Protesters block traffic on Michigan Ave., as they march through the city during a demonstration Friday, May 18, 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. Thousands of nurses and other protesters gathered for the noisy but largely peaceful demonstration with a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters to a Chicago Women

  • A member of National Nurses United, protests at a NATO summit demonstration at Daley Plaza, Friday, May 18 2012, in Chicago. Thousands of nurses and other protesters gathered for the noisy but largely peaceful demonstration with a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters to a Chicago Women

  • Tom Morello

    Eminent musician Tom Morello performs at a NATO summit demonstration at Daley Plaza, Friday, May 18 2012, in Chicago. Thousands of nurses and other protesters gathered for the noisy but largely peaceful demonstration with a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters to a Chicago Women

  • A protester tears down a NATO summit banner from one of the bridge towers along the Chicago River at the Michigan Ave. bridge in Chicago. Friday, May 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Nomaan Merchant)

  • A member of National Nurses United, protests at a NATO summit demonstration at Daley Plaza, Friday, May 18 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Protesters dance in the street as they block traffic during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • A protester pounds out a beat on a newspaper stand as they block traffic while marching through the city during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • May 18: Probably at the older end of the movement. This "greatful grandmother" was a big hit. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • May 18: At the end of the break-off march, people gathered at one of the places where it all began - the horse statue at Congress and Michigan. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • Protesters march through the streets of downtown Chicago at a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Friday, May 18 2012. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • An unidentified Chicago police officer removes himself from marching protesters on Michigan Ave., during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protesters block traffic on Michigan Avenue as they march through the city during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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