Attacks on Chicago police stations, Obama office were planned, prosecutors say
NBC’s Chuck Todd reports on the foiled plot to disrupt the NATO summit by attacking targets in Chicago with Molotov cocktails, including President Obama’s campaign headquarters.
By Miranda Leitsinger, msnbc.com
Updated at 8 p.m. ET CHICAGO — Three anti-NATO protesters charged with terrorism conspiracy planned to attack four Chicago police stations, the local campaign headquarters for President Barack Obama and the home of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, prosecutors alleged in court Saturday.
Plans were made to destroy police cars and attack four CPD stations with destructive devices, in an effort to undermine the police response” to attacks on the Obama office, the Emanuel home as well as unspecified financial institutions during the NATO summit this weekend, the charging statement said.
The men were identified as 22-year-old Brian Church, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; 27-year-old Jared Chase, of Keene, N.H.; and 24-year-old Brent Betterly, who told police he resides in Massachusetts.
The three are “self-proclaimed anarchists, and members of the ‘Black Bloc’ group,” prosecutors said, without elaborating.
Michael Deutsch, an attorney for the men, denied that and said the men and their friends were in Chicago to “peaceably protest.”
The three were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, possession of an explosive or incendiary device and providing material support for terrorism. Bond of $1.5 million was set for each defendant…
“Danny?” said the booming voice at the other end of the telephone. “Big John Bohannon.”
Dan felt he was being monitored, and Bohannon shared the same suspicion. It wouldn’t be safe to be anywhere near a phone
“Johnny, thinking of taking an early supper.”
“The old place?’ he said purposely vague.
“Been a while, partner. Half an hour?”
“Fifteen,” said Bohannon. This time of day on a Friday no one could get to them in less than a half hour.
They met at Demon dogs on Milwaukee, where the two men frequented when they were partners. Dan informed the dispatcher and switched off his radio. He guided the squad into the BP station on the corner and left his radio and cellphone under the seat. Bohannon was waiting already with two Demon dogs and fries served in the joints signature box. They found a seat outside at the back of the restaurant.
“Looks like it will be a crazy weekend,” Dan said, taking a bite of his dog.
“Makes me nervous your this close to all this mess, Dan.”
“What did you find?”
“Something’s up,” said Big John. “I checked out your boy with an old FBI buddy. Gotta tell you he was pretty nervous about looking this guy up, and more nervous after. Some scary people, Dan. Your boy is into all sorts of black ops. I couldn’t get details, but its heavy, under-cover, never know about it in a thousand years shit.”
“What’s he doing in Chicago masquerading as a protester, and putting all this energy into my neice’s husband?”
“Don’t know. Maybe one or both of them are mixed up with those guys with the bombs down in Bridgeport.”
Dan scoffed. “Aw, come on, John, you know that’s trumped up to increase pressure on the protesters and freak out the public. Those guys were targeted from the start by posting that video.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxBJIWdHvD0&feature=relmfu
“Sounding like a hippie radical, there, Dan.”
“All I care about is the law and what’s right and wrong, and this stinks big.”
“Well, then you’ll really love this,” said John. “Seems a couple of FBI snipers got bumped off the roof of the Field Museum.”
“I don’t follow.”
“A new team will be up there from a security company that Representative Rand set up a few months ago. Seems he’s looking to secure a security contract for his new company and asked that these guys be on the detail.”
“I don’t see…”
“They won’t report to anyone. Freelancers.”
“A couple of former merc from Afghanistan>”
“John, what the hell is going on?”
The big man stood, pursed his lips and shook his head once. “I’d warn you to walk away from this one and hope that it all works out for your niece, but something tells me you won’t.”
It was a game for Blaze and Rebel Rose, but a deadly serious one. The goal, as they sat across from each other in the small plaza, beside a Chagall mosaic, they piggyback on a nearby businessman’s WiFi, not that he would have ever known. The goal, to break into Koffer Industries security system, or anything else they could get into at Koffer Industries and root around for anything to help Jack and Eva, and the growing suspicious that something terrible was in the offing for the Occupy movement.
A few blocks away, police blocked protesters from crossing the Michigan Avenue bridge. Along Franklin, sixty heavily armed officers in riot gear oiled into ten big white unmarked vans and raced off at high speed to bolster their ranks at the bridge.
“In yet, bitch?” Rebel chided.
Blaze frowned without looking up at her. “Getting there.”
“You hack like my grandmother screws.”
“Frequently and without remorse,” he shot back bringing a laugh from Rebel.
“Well I am in and , holy shit!”
“I’m scrolling through the security tapes from elevators.”
“Wow, you are a hacking genius,” he teased.
Rebel spun the laptop around. “Eat this, freak.”
She’d managed to get the security camera trained on the hall to Tom Koffer’s office. It didn’t actually show the office, but the sign on the wall beside the elevator reading “Mr Koffer: By appointment only.” There was a date at the bottom of the screen and a time scrolling quickly. And though there was no audio, the video was clear.
“How did you find the right…?’
Angelo appeared, leaving Tom Koffer’s office. As Rebel Rose talked, Blaze was typing madly in his own computer.
“Simple, I just typed it in once I got into the system and it came right up. You guys always overthink shit.’
“Are you downloading this sh…Oh, crap, our piggyback is about to leave.”
The unsuspecting guy was pack up his things, walking his lunch trash over to the garbage. Rebel Rose was already up, stopping him before he reached his things.
“Got a cigarette?” she asked.
“Don’t smoke, said the guy, looking to be in his early to mid thirties, in an expensive suit.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“I don’t really have anything to spare,” he replied mechanically, thinking the punkish young girl was hitting him up for money.
“Not that,” she flirted. “You are silly. My very gay friend over there said you would never go out with a girl like me and…”
He waved his hand in the air, showing off a gold wedding band. “Married.”
“Married, not dead, and I right?”
He laughed uncomfortably. Rebel kept blocking him from the computer. “I, uh, I really have to get back.”
“Aw,” she groaned, “so I am going to lose the bet. I will never live this down.”
“Listen, I’m sure you are a very lovely girl, but…”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to freak you out. It’s just, I never really liked guys my own age and I was watching you and thought you were really attractive…
“I really have to…” a blush rising to his cheeks.
Blaze turned and threw a thumb in the air. “Got it!”
“What’s he got?” asked the man.
“Aids,” she said. “He’s got Aids. Got to go!”
They scooped up their things and laughed all the way down Dearborn until they reached the river. The battle for the Michigan Avenue Bridge was over, the protesters turning south. Blaze and Rebel scrolled through several days of footage before a familiar face appeared. They isolated the video, then the video of two other “military types” who appeared a few minutes later.
“Who are these assholes?”
Rebel shrugged. She’d been working on something else as well of a couple of days. She was fighting all sorts of encryption, firewalls and protocols at three of the largest cellphone companies, scrolling through customer lists once she was in. At last the name she was looking for popped up. A little extra digging and call lists came up. There were a number of calls placed from Rand to Koffer’s office. Rebel and Blaze hadn’t a clue what exactly it meant, but they could now connect all five men.
“We have to find Eva.”
Angelo thought this could go a number of ways. He was prepared for each of them. He was too close to the end of the mission, a time in which the humanity of the so-called collateral damage was incidental. The mission was at the tipping point; to one side disaster, and to the other side success. He approached the couple, unable to read their expressions. He stopped at the table. There was a pistol in his pocket. His hand was on it, and he was prepared to use it if necessary.
Given everything he knew now, somewhere deep down inside Jack grew an indefinable rage. For what Angelo had done to his family, there was a part of him that wished to choke the life out of the man. When Angelo held out a hand, jack thought to play along.
“I’m sorry about that shit at the GA,” said Angelo, “but I…can I sit?”
Angelo didn’t wait for an answer. He sat beside Eva. She chewed her lip, thinking that her heart might beat from her chest.
“I know who set you up, but I need your help. I’m supposed to meet him Sunday at the protest. Come with me and we’ll clear this whole thing up.”
“If you know all this, why don’t you just go to the police?” said Jack.
“Because I can’t, not without proof, and he has it. We take care of that and you’re home free and back with your family. You and Eva want that, don’t you?”
“Can I talk to Eva alone for a minute?”
Jack had to go. Eva was against it and wanted to go to the police with what they knew. But there was no way. The police wouldn’t buy the conspiracy angle without direct proof, and that was still lacking. There was no choice. Eva followed them into the street as they disappeared down Wells. She pulled her phone and returned the SIM card and battery and snapped them back into place. There was a new voice mail. It was rebel Rose.