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Keene man not a terrorist, uncle says
The uncle of Jared Chase, the 27-year-old Keene man arrested Friday on terrorism-related charges before the start of the NATO summit in Chicago, said the charges don't fit the nephew he knows.
Michael Chase, of Westmoreland, said his nephew was not political until last fall, when he joined Occupy Boston.
Jared Chase's Facebook page reflects his uncle's assertions and outlines his involvement with Occupy movements in Boston, Washington, D.C., Miami and Chicago.
Older posts on Chase's Facebook page concern his life in Boston, going to the gym, the Patriots and his job at P.F. Chang's restaurant.
On Sept. 29, he posted, “I get paid good money to live in a great city, lifes (sic) good!”
Weeks later, though, things turned. On Oct. 13, he posted that he was heading out to an Occupy Boston event in the afternoon.
The following day, he wrote, “Another day camped out at Occupied Boston, time to change the woorld (sic).”
After he joined the Occupy movement, Chase left or lost his job, lost contact with his family and was living in a tent, Michael Chase said.
In a December post, Jared Chase wrote about getting arrested for protesting outside of the White House.
Days later he traveled south to join Occupy Miami.
On Feb. 6, he wrote, “Miami has the most crooked cops in the country. We should execute them before they do something well regret.”
“Occupy is like a Bear, it went into hibernation for the winter. But also like a bear, it's going to wake up come spring and start mauling its enemies. And stealing picnic baskets,” he wrote in a Feb. 9 post while still at Occupy Miami.
On March 14, he said he was brutalized by police but not arrested.
“We got raided by FBI & Miami Swat last night, everyone detained like terrorits (sic) yet no arressts (sic) were made. I was zip tied, and the only one put in a cop car.”
Occupy Boston activist Farhad Ebrahimi said in an email Sunday that Chase was never a core member of Occupy Boston.
Ebrahimi said he is suspicious of the charges against Chase and two other men, Brian Church, 22, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Brent Betterly, 24, of Massachusetts.
“I'm definitely prepared to admit it if I end up being wrong, but everything I've read so far makes it sound like a case of entrapment. There's been a distressing precedent set for that kind of thing, so I think it behooves all of us to be skeptical of claims that any of these so called “terror plots” were ever a real threat,” he wrote.
According to Reuters, a lawyer for the three, Michael Deutsch, said undercover police officers had entrapped his clients by infiltrating the group and encouraging the bomb-making effort. A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department declined to comment on the tactics employed in the latest case.
Chase has a brief criminal record in Keene, according to Keene police, including a 2003 first-degree assault conviction for which he served nine months in prison.
Michael Chase said his nephew is a gifted rapper and DJ and an avid gamer. He grew up in Hinsdale and Swanzey, his uncle said.
He attended both Monadnock High School and Manchester West High School, according to his Facebook page, and was studying 3D animation and game programing at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord.
Chase and the other men allegedly considered targeting President Barack Obama's re-election headquarters and the home of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, according to Reuters.
The men were arraigned Saturday, with bail was set at $1.5 million for each. Their next court appearance is Tuesday, Reuters said.
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