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In brief: Fake bomb left by Wrigley Field

CHICAGO – A man arrested for allegedly placing a backpack he thought contained an explosive near Chicago’s Wrigley Field also talked about poisoning Lake Michigan, bombing a landmark skyscraper and assassinating Mayor Richard Daley, according to a federal complaint filed Monday.

Sami Samir Hassoun, 22, a Lebanese citizen living in Chicago for about three years, was charged with one count each of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of an explosive device.

“He wanted to transform the city of Chicago, he wanted to make a statement and he wanted to replace the mayor of Chicago,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Grant.

At a brief hearing Monday, Hassoun quietly told U.S. Judge Susan Cox that he understood the charges.

An FBI informant tipped investigators about Hassoun nearly a year ago, the agency said. Grant said Hassoun acted alone and that the undercover agents told him they were from California and unaffiliated with any group. He declined to offer specific details, but said Hassoun believed the agents were ready to give him money if he carried out the attack.

Hassoun was arrested early Sunday after planting the fake explosive device – which was given to him by an undercover agent – in a trash receptacle near Sluggers World Class Sports Bar, a popular bar steps from Wrigley Field, Grant said.

Moderate quake jolts Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An earthquake jolted Anchorage on Monday and was felt well beyond Alaska’s largest city.

The 4.9-magnitude quake struck at 1:24 p.m. about 10 miles southwest of Anchorage, according to earthquake monitors.

There were no reports of injury or damage, but people reported that the earthquake “shook awful hard,” said Cindi Preller, a geologist with the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.


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