The trial begins this week for the “NATO 3,” a group of activists arrested prior to the NATO protests last year on alleged terrorism charges.
Indeed, the case of the “NATO 3” follows a similar pattern of tactics law enforcement officials have used when pursuing activists, particularly prior to large scale protests that garner national attention. In 2008, two activists were arrested in a similar scenario involving Molotov cocktails prior to the Republican National Convention in Minnesota. As their trial played out, it was revealed the two young men were led nearly every step of the way by a paid FBI informant. In 2012, five men were arrested in Cleveland in connection with a plot to blow up a bridge just before scheduled protests were to occur on May Day. According to Alternet:
“It later emerged that a federal agent working undercover at Occupy Cleveland had encouraged violent escalation among young male activists, and even arranged for the purchase of the fake explosives the five activists allegedly attempted to detonate.”