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Published On: Sat, Jun 1st, 2013

Sami Samir Hassoun, Lebanese terrorist who tried to bomb Wrigley Field, sentenced to 23 years

A young Lebanese man caught plotting to detonate a bomb near Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Field baseball stadium was sentenced Thursday to 23 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Lebanese citizen Sami Samir Hassoun was a legal resident of the United States at the time of his 2010 arrest.

Sami Samir Hassoun

Sami Samir Hassoun

“The thought of what might have happened if it was real is horrific,” U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman said in handing down the sentence.

Hassoun pleaded guilty last year to one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and one count of attempted use of an explosive device.

The 25-year-old admitted to telling an FBI source that he wanted to “paralyze” Chicago commerce and undermine the city’s political establishment.

The informant introduced him to an undercover FBI agent posing as a terrorist who agreed to help him carry out the plot for a “revolution.”

After weeks of reconnaissance work and discussion of potential targets, the agent gave Hassoun a backpack that he said was filled with explosives powerful enough to destroy half a city block.

Hassoun activated the timer on the fake bomb and dropped the backpack in a trash bin when the nearby bars were filled with patrons who had attended a concert at Wrigley.

He was then arrested.

During the hearing, prosecutors played secret video recordings of Hassoun during the sting in which he talks about killing people. He explains that one reason to stage the attack along bar-strewn Clark Street is that late-night revelers will be so drunk they wouldn’t notice him dropping a bomb into the trash bin.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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