A Northwest Side man has been charged 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.
Sami Samir Hassoun, 22, of the 4700 block of North Kedzie Avenue, 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, according to the FBI. (Read the federal complaint HERE.)
The bomb was a fake provided by an undercover federal agent. "At no time was the public in danger during this investigation," the FBI said.
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.
Well, golly gee, this guy was a one-man WMD band.
Hassoun, who is a Lebanese citizen and a permanent U.S. resident, 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.Well, yeah, that would reorganize the neighborhood. To make money? That's a new one.
Are the bad guys having trouble with suicide recruitment?
Such charming ideas some people have. Randomly.
...Reading the complaint--he thought he could profit by selling information about the bombing to the media.
P.S. Fouad Ajami:Islam's Encounters With America. A survey by Elaph, the most respected electronic daily in the Arab world, saw 58% object to the building of the WTC mosque. Why does so much of the US media surrender to the worst of Islam, thinking it the best.
...Unintentional comedy in the complaint, page 15--Hassoun refers to the Daley Center as the "brains of Chicago".
He wanted to take it out with ricin.
...And cultivate a replacement candidate whom he could buy off and manage. Gee, whatever gave him that idea in Chicago.
...supposedly he had no religious motivation but referred to God as opening the way in ease of target ID, killing the most people without surveillance, and after initially wanting to blow people up on the 4th of July (well, maybe he went to the Islamic Society of North America convention for a little unindicted co-conspirator suspended stoning), settled on Sept. 11th.
The undercover agent persuaded him to do the deed a week later, as security would be heightened on Sept. 11th.
UPDATE: Sun Times story. Clear media bias--doesn't mention he wanted to bomb on Sept. 11th. NBC5 doesn't mention the Sept. 11th intent either [updated story leads with that now], nor does the Breaking News story I initially read carried by the Tribune.
Wouldn't you think that would be a salient fact?!
More. ABC7, no mention of Sept. 11th, though they have quotes from the bar owner, mayor, and head of CPD. Perhaps they haven't read the complaint.
More. FoxChicago. Nope.
Huffpo. Nope. We're just doing these stings with amateurs, you see:
"He was not highly skilled, but I think he was definitely desirous of obtaining the material needed to carry out his attack," Grant said.
Shortly before the plot near Wrigley Field, the informant introduced Hassoun to the undercover agents who Hassoun believed were friends and would pay for the attack to be carried out.
Chicago authorities said Daley never was in any danger. Police said Daley – who has been in China for a business trip – was informed of the plot over the weekend.
"We were always in control of this investigation," said Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis.
There have been other cases involving FBI agents posing as terror operatives and supplying suspects with bogus explosives. Last year, authorities arrested a Jordanian national after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he thought was a bomb outside a Dallas skyscraper. In an unrelated case, authorities in Springfield, Ill., arrested another man after he allegedly tried he tried to set off what he thought was explosives in a van outside a federal courthouse.
Hassoun thought Sept. 11th would be a "beautiful day" to bomb people.