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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Chicago man arrested in bomb plot

    CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been charged with plotting to bomb a strip of crowded night spots around the time people were leaving a Dave Matthews concert at Wrigley Field over the weekend.

    Sami Samir Hassoun, 22, was arrested as he placed a backpack containing what he thought were high-explosives in a trash can in front of Sluggers, about a block south of Wrigley Field, according to the FBI.

    Houssoun had also discussed other violent plots in Chicago, including a biological attack on the city, poisoning Lake Michigan, attacking police officers, bombing the Willis Tower and assassinating Mayor Richard Daley, the FBI said.

    But he is so far charged only with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of an explosive device in connection with the attempted bombing near Wrigley Field. The FBI said there was no indication any foreign or domestic terror group was connected to the plot.

    Hassoun, who is a Lebanese citizen and a permanent resident alien, told an “”associate”” in June that he wanted to commit acts of violence to make money and cause “”political transformation in Chicago,”” the FBI said.

    Unknown to Hassoun, his associate was secretly cooperating with the FBI, the agency said.

    Throughout the summer, he allegedly discussed with the associate the violent plots, but eventually selected the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago as his target, “”utilizing an explosive device which he would detonate on a weekend night to inflict maximum damage,”” the FBI stated.

    In July, the associate introduced Hassoun to an undercover federal agent who claimed he was from California and had access to explosives. While meeting with the agent, Hassoun discussed several plots and scenarios that would make a dramatic impact on Chicago and force Daley to resign, the FBI stated.

    Hassoun eventually settled on a bombing outside a strip of Wrigleyville bars and nightclubs, the FBI said.

    On Saturday night, Hassoun met with the agent, who provided him with a backpack that Hassoun thought contained high-powered explosives, according to the FBI. The agent showed Hassoun how it worked, though it reality it was made of inert materials and unable to explode, the agency said.

    Early Sunday morning, Hassoun and the agent went in a rented vehicle toward Wrigleyville as crowds were leaving Wrigley Field after a concert by the Dave Matthews Band, the FBI said.

    As agents watched, Hassoun placed the fake explosive into a trash container, the FBI said. He was arrested and the fake device was recovered.

    “”At no time was the public in danger during this investigation,”” the FBI said. “”There was no indication that any foreign or domestic terror groups were in any way connected to this plot.””

    Hassoun faces five years to life in prison.

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