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FBI arrests man plotting to bomb area around Wrigley Field

Sep 21, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

According to the Chicago Tribune the FBI has arrested Sami Samir Hassoun and charged the 22-year-old Lebanese man with “plotting to bomb a strip of crowded Wrigleyville night spots around the time people were leaving a Dave Matthews concert at the ballpark over the weekend.”
Hassoun “was arrested as he placed a backpack containing what he thought were high explosives in a trash can in front of Sluggers on Clark Street, about a block south of Wrigley Field.” Instead the backpack contained a fake bomb that had been given to him by an undercover agent.
Here’s more from Robert Grant, the head of the FBI’s office in Chicago:

He was acting alone. He was not, I would say, highly skilled but definitely desirous of finding the material he needed to carry out his attack. His intent was to kill as many people as he could in an area of town that was highly populated, in an effort to cause as much destruction as possible.

Hassoun allegedly also had discussions with the undercover agent about other potential terrorist activities in and around Chicago, reportedly including “a biological attack on the city, poisoning Lake Michigan, attacking police officers, bombing the Willis Tower, and assassinating Mayor Richard Daley.”

  1. cgraydonhudson - Sep 21, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    So the FBI finds some schmoe who is dissatisfied with government, talks up all sorts of criminal ideas with him, pretends to give him the means to commit criminal acts, then arrests the guy and calls him a terrorist. Nice work boys; I feel safer already!

  2. Mr. Heyward - Sep 21, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    That’s how these things are done. You have to obtain evidence to prosecute these people. Stopping him early on would be stupid since there would only be limited premeditation and no actual attempted crime. This also gives the FBI time to determine how big his network is and if anyone else is involved.

  3. Jonny5 - Sep 21, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Angels on the sideline,
    Baffled and confused.
    Father blessed them all with reason,
    And this is what they choose?

  4. murd - Sep 21, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    It sounds like his dissatisfaction is with the people, not the government. He was going after civilians in bars, not government buildings.

  5. SouthofHeaven - Sep 21, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Yeah, I don’t always like how the government does things, but fuck this guy & good for the FBI. They were smart to string him along, in case they could find out if he had any potential accomplices.

  6. Alex K - Sep 21, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    As a resident of Chicago, living about a mile north of where this attack was supposed to take place, I am very, very appreciative of the work done.

  7. Detroit Michael - Sep 21, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    I’m amazed that even dimwitted terrorists don’t succeed more often than they do since 9/11/2001. Thank you, FBI.

  8. ebraves - Sep 21, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    I have no faith in the FBI. You only read “good” press.
    In 2008, they busted in my door at 5am with a no knock warrant… they were at the wrong fing address…. They refused to offer me a verbal/written apology, and they never reimbursed me for damages, and doctor visit (bruised from tackle).
    An attorney said to simply drop the matter, and that I wouldn’t win any case against the feds…

  9. Calir - Sep 21, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    That’s okay, just make him a citizen to make the prez happy.

  10. Tim's Neighbor - Sep 21, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    That’s just silly.

  11. Mr. Heyward - Sep 21, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    Sorry, that does suck, but at least that’s a sweet story right?

  12. Old Gator - Sep 21, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    There really is a difference between “just silly” and “utterly imbecilic,” and it’s not a minor difference either. Calir’s comment falls solidly in the latter category.

  13. MVD - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:02 AM

    Blowing up DMB fans sounds like an act of mercy, not terrorism, to me.

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