Monday, September 20, 2010

Chicago Man Arrested After Seeking Change, Political Transformation

Another poor misguided Muslim not satisfied with the pace of political change in Chicago. He should have gotten into community organizing instead.
A 22-year-old North Side man who wanted to bring political change to the city was arrested early Sunday after placing a backpack which he thought contained explosives into a trash can on a crowded street near Wrigley Field.

Sami Samir Hassoun, a Lebanese citizen and permanent U.S. resident, was arrested just after midnight Sunday morning without incident on North Seminary Avenue near the 3500 block of North Clark Street by members of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to a release from the FBI.

The arrest followed an investigation that accelerated in June, according to the release. The FBI said the public was never in danger as the explosive device was provided to Hassoun by an undercover agent.

A federal criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court alleges Hassoun's motivation for planning the attack was a combination of greed and political dissatisfaction.

In June, Hassoun, of the 4700 block of North Kedzie, began expressing to an associate the desire to commit acts of violence in the city for monetary gain and to cause political transformation, the complaint alleges. Unbeknownst to him, his associate was secretly cooperating with the FBI.

Through the summer, Hassoun discussed a number of possible plots, including a biological attack on the city, poisoning Lake Michigan, attacking police officers, bombing the Willis Tower or assassinating Mayor Daley, the complaint alleges.

Eventually, he selected the Wrigleyville area as his target, and planned to detonate an explosive device on a weekend night to inflict maximum damage, the complaint alleges.

While the cooperating witness told Hassoun repeatedly, and the suspect at times agreed, not to kill anyone, he allegedly said he wanted to plan a "diversionary incident, followed by a more substantial strike that would likely result in casualties," the complaint alleges.

Hassoun told the undercover agent he was not motivated by religious ideology, but did suggest in a meeting on June 14 that terrorists motivated by extremist views of Islam could be framed for his proposed actions, the release said.

When an undercover agent told Hassoun his motivation was to change the way the United States treated "our people back home," Hassoun, according to the complaint, said, "Mine is a kind of a different concept than this.”

He saw attacking Chicago as a means of creating chaos to gain political control of the city and its sources of revenue, the release said.

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