23 September 2010

The Wassef and Sami Samir Hassoun Connection: Real or Accident?

First, an excerpt of Chicago Tribune coverage of "Wrigleyville Bomber" Sami Hassoun's most recent court appearance:
Hassoun's attorney, Myron Auerbach, argued that Hassoun should be released from custody, confined at home with electronic monitors and supervised by his family.

Auerbach suggested that his 22-year-old client was influenced in his actions by a government informant planted as a friend and undercover FBI agents who posed as his terrorist co-conspirators.

"(The case) shows a troubled young man who was scattered in his thoughts," the lawyer said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Hammerman said Hassoun showed no hesitation when the undercover agents gave him a backpack with what he thought was a bomb. He was arrested moments after dropping it in a trash receptacle by a sports bar in the 3500 block of North Clark Street shortly after midnight Saturday. Authorities said Hassoun favored the crowded location to maximize casualties. The Dave Matthews Band had played at Wrigley Field earlier that night.

"What the defendant did was take what he thought was a ticking time bomb and put it in a crowded area," Hammerman said. "He looked for an area that would offer maximum damage to life and property."
The article goes on to say that Sami Samir Hassoun was born in Lebanon and raised on the Ivory Coast, then moved back to Lebanon before moving to the United States. He s reported to hold US Resident Alien status.

An internet search revealed a 2004 article with a telephone interview quote from one Sami Hassoun, who was living in Beirut, Lebanon at the time, urging that his brother USMC Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun (واصف علي حسون‎) be released by his captors in Iraq. Eventually it was discovered that Corporal Hassoun faked his own abduction, then fled the US to Lebanon to avoid courts martial proceedings.

"He's just a soldier doing his job like any other person," Sami Hassoun said in a telephone interview from his home in Beirut, Lebanon.
The brother of a U.S. Marine missing in Iraq said Tuesday that a blindfolded man shown in a video with a curved sword above his head is his brother and pleaded for captors to "just release him."

"Please leave him, for the sake of God, for the sake of his mom and dad."
Unfortunately, I do not have any Lebanese acquaintances these days, but my Arabic translator is Moroccan and another friend is Iranian. Both told me the chances of the Sami Hassoun quoted above and the one arrested in Chicago being different people are remote (they stated it stronger). I am still reserving judgment until a more concrete confirmation is provided.

Sami Samir Hassoun's Facebook page is still active as of this posting and an active discussion is taking place on his "wall".

See also: FNN Video: Arrest of Wrigleyville Bomber and Lebanese Man Arrested in Bomb Plot


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