The Lookout

Wrigley Field fake bomber pleads guilty to federal charges

The Lookout

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Wrigley Field stadium sign (Paul Beaty/AP)

A Chicago man has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he placed a bomb in a trash container on a crowded street outside Wrigley Field in September 2010.

Sami Samir Hassoun, 24, faces up to 30 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of a explosive device, according to the FBI. Hassoun, a Lebanese citizen who lived in the city's North Side, remains in federal custody while waiting sentencing on Aug. 15. He was arrested as part of an FBI sting operation.

As part of his plea, Hassoun acknowledged that he intended to cause mass casualties and had rejected opportunities to walk away from the plot, according to the FBI. He chose the particular location, in the 3500 block of North Clark Street, because it presented the opportunity to inflict a greater number of casualties than other locations he considered. There was a Dave Matthews Band concert at Wrigley Field on Sept. 18, 2010, just before Hassoun was arrested.

FBI agents had been tipped off to Hassoun by an informant.

Undercover FBI agents had provided Hassoun with a bomb inside a backpack, and told him that the bomb could destroy half a city block. Hassoun said that an attack against such an entertainment center could "paralyze" Chicago commerce. The bomb, however, was a prop provided to Hassoun that never presented any real danger, according to the FBI.

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