Two Chicago men are in custody Sunday evening, charged in separate bomb-making schemes.
Press investigators have been digging into their backgrounds. Prosecutors said the two men charged Sunday are involved in separate cases, not connected to each other, and not connected to the three men charged Saturday with building Molotov cocktails. They also said both men talked big about creating chaos, but in the end never actually built a bomb. The press discovered one of the men was involved in a local chapter of an anarchist group, and has a past defending anarchists, communists and Black Bloc tactics.
Prosecutors said 24-year-old Sebastian Senakiewicz – who goes by the name “Sabi” – bragged he had a vehicle filled with explosives and was hiding other explosives in holed-out books, including a Harry Potter volume.
Police said none of the bombs actually exist.
“Sabi has stated that he’s an anarchist who is upset with the lack of chaos in Chicago,” prosecutor Jack Blakey said.
David Griffiths owns the home where Sabi was staying on the northwest side.
“Would I believe that he was walking around telling people that?” Griffiths asked. “That kid would tell you anything.”
Griffiths said he was just doing a favor for a friend – taking in their homeless, jobless son. On Thursday, Chicago police – armed with a warrant – literally knocked in the door of Griffiths’ northwest side home and hauled Sabi off to jail.
Among the personal effects Sabi left behind were buttons mocking Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Griffiths said Sabi wasn’t a big reader, and isn’t too bright.
“If he had two brain cells that were working good that day,” Griffiths said, “one of them was probably drunk.”
Mark Neiweem, 28, goes by “Migs.” He’s charged with soliciting explosives.
Prosecutors said he tried to get someone to buy him the parts to make a pipe bomb.
At Neiweem’s southwest side apartment building,
the press found a circled “A” on his mailbox – the sign for anarchist.
“Migs also stated he needed PVC pipe, two PVC caps, PVC glue and several rocket engines in order to construct a pipe bomb,” Blakey said.
While the two cases are not related, defense attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild said both seem like setups by police.
“These two men were targeted without a doubt for their political beliefs,” National Lawyers Guild’s Sarah Gelsomino said.
“These are really serious problems that we all need to be addressing,” Steve Saltzman said, also with the guild. “Chicago shouldn’t be functioning like this.”
The press found websites indicating Neiweem was involved in a group called Anarchist Black Cross.
The website shows he was scheduled to deliver a speech called “Why This Isn’t Scary – Anarchy, Communism, Socialism and the Black Bloc” during a protest on April 7.
“It’s not illegal in this country to hold any political belief, even anarchy,” Gelsomino said.
While prosecutors said these cases are unrelated, defense attorneys say they believe they are linked by the police informants used to – in their words – set the men up.
Lawyers said the three charged with making Molotov cocktails after the Bridgeport raid, along with the two men charged Sunday, all had encounters with a man and woman.
They call themselves “Moe” and “Gloves,” self-described anarchist cousins who suddenly popped up in Chicago in early May.
Then made fast friends with all of the people charged over the past couple days.
“Moe and Gloves disappeared. And have not yet been seen,” Gelsomino said. “Through our own investigation talking to other people about what they remembered happening, we believe that those are the two who have been working for the police.”
Sabi was charged with falsely making a terrorist threat and is being held on a $750,000 bond.
Neiweem’s bond is $500,000. He was already on probation for punching a Chicago police officer in 2010.