Man Arrested in Chicago Bomb Plot

...But FBI gave him the bomb, so public was never in danger
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2010 7:47 AM CDT
Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis speaks at a news conference, Sept. 20, 2010, announcing Sami Samir Hassoun's arrest.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

(Newser) – When he dropped the paint can into a trash can near Wrigley Field on Saturday night, Sami Samir Hassoun allegedly thought he was planting a bomb that would cause massive casualties. In reality he was planting… a paint can. The FBI, which had for months been tracking Hassoun and giving him money to plan attacks, pounced and arrested the 22-year-old, the Chicago Tribune reports. “He was acting alone,” said one FBI agent. “He was not, I would say, highly skilled.”

Hassoun is a Lebanese immigrant, but his motives weren’t religious—they were based on Chicago politics. Hassoun wanted to undermine Richard Daley’s political support, and thought the mayor’s enemies might pay him for the attacks. At first, he planned non-lethal attacks, but as undercover agents pressed him, he warmed to the idea of casualties. “Little by little, I’m building it up,” he told an informant. “I will (expletive) Chicago. I will shake Chicago.”

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