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FBI thwarts mass shooting planned at Masonic temple in Midwest

By Christie Green, WDJT

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a Milwaukee man who planned a mass shooting, according to a release by the United States Attorney’s Office of Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Samy Mohamed Hamzeh, 23, has been charged with possessing machine guns and a silencer.

He had been under investigation since September 2015.

According to the US Attorney's Office, Hamzeh abandoned plans for an attack in Jordan and began planning a domestic attack at a Masonic temple in Milwaukee.

He took a guided tour of a Masonic temple with the two confidential informants on January 19, 2016. In recorded conversations after the visit, Hamzeh allegedly discussed with the informants how they could carry out the attack.

Hamzeh said that they would need two machine guns so that they each would have one and also said that they would need three silencers. 

  • “We want two machine guns, you now have one, so we want two more, and we need three silencers, that’s it.Find out how much all together these will cost, and then we will march.”
  • “We want two, like the machine gun you have. . . . And we need silencers. . . . Three, yes three silencers, and that’s it.”
  • “. . . each one has a weapon, each one has a silencer gun, the operation will be one hundred percent successful.I am telling you, to go without silencer gun, you will be exposed from the beginning.”

Hamzeh also allegedly told the confidential informants one of them would need to stay at the main door while the others went upstairs to kill people:

  • “one of us will stay at the door at the entrance and lock the door down, he will be at the main door down, two will get to the lift up, they will enter the room, and spray everyone in the room.The one who is standing downstairs will spray anyone he finds.We will shoot them, kill them and get out.We will walk and walk, after a while, we will be covered as if it is cold, and we’ll take the covers off and dump them in a corner and keep on walking, as if nothing happened, as if everything is normal.But one has to stand on the door, because if no one stood at the door, people will be going in and out, if people came in from outside and found out what is going on, everything is busted.”
  • “As long as the one on the door understands he has bigger responsibility than the others.For your information, he has to take care of everyone around him, the comers and the one that wants to go, he has to annihilate everyone, there is no one left, I mean when we go into a room, we will be killing everyone, that’s it, this is our duty, as for the one at the door, he must have 20/20 eye vision and always alert for all the traffic around him.”
  • “I am telling you, as I was saying, all three of us get in together, one will go, to the one that is staying at the reception . . . . If she was alone, it is okay, if there were two of them, shoot both of them, do not let the blood show, shoot her from the bottom, two or three shots in her stomach and let her sit on the chair and push her to the front, as if she is sleeping, did you understand?Then stay downstairs, the other two will take the lift to the third floor, go directly to the room, open the door, shoot everyone, move fast even avoiding the lift and take the stairs running down. . . . Using the stairs, the third one on the door will notice us coming down, we will go out together.No one sees anything and no one knows anything.We leave, as if there is nothing, no running, no panic, just regular walking.We’ll get three head covers with three holes in them. . . . we’ll get in all three of us together, the minute we get in, we shoot whoever is in front of us, and all have to be eliminated.One stays down and two will go up quickly.
  •  “And we will eliminate everyone.”

Hamzeh made plans to purchase machine guns and silencers from two individuals who, unbeknownst to Hamzeh were undercover FBI agents. He met with them, along with the confidential informants on January 25.

The undercover agents displayed the weapons and a silencer to Hamzeh, told him that the weapons were capable of automatic fire, and explained to him the functioning of a the selector switch that allowed the weapons to fire automatic fire, and explained to him the functioning of the selector switch that allowed the weapons to fire automatically.

Hamzeh agreed to a price and paid it to the undercover agents, who then handed Hamzeh a bag containing two automatic weapons and a silencer.

Hamzeh carried the bag to the vehicle in which he had traveled to the meeting, and he placed the bag in the trunk of the vehicle.

He then was arrested and has been charged with illegally possessing machine guns.

"Samy Mohamed Hamzeh devised a detailed plan to commit a mass shooting intended to kill dozens of people. He also said that he wanted this mass shooting to be known the world over and ignite broader clashes. It is difficult to calculate the injury and loss of the life that was prevented by concerned citizens coming forward and by the tireless efforts of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force," said United States Attorney Gregory Haanstad.

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