Samy Mohamed Hamzeh, the would-be terrorist who planned to shoot up a Milwaukee Masonic temple, had also considered going to Israel to kill Israelis, MSN is reporting.
23-year-old Samy Mohamed Hamzeh was arrested Monday and charged with various firearms charges. According to the FBI, Hamzeh had conspired with other would-be terrorist to illegally purchase machine guns and silencers, and use them in a terrorist attack against an unspecified Masonic temple in Milwaukee. Those other terrorists turned out to be FBI informants.
“I am telling you, if this hit is executed, it will be known all over the world. They are all Masonic; they are playing with the world like a game, man, and we are like a***s, we don’t know what is going on, these are the ones who are fighting… Thirty is excellent. If I got out, after killing thirty people, I will be happy 100 percent… 100 percent happy, because these 30 will terrify the world.”
According to KSL-TV (Salt Lake City), the Masons are a fraternal society that is involved in social and charitable causes. Some conspiracy theorists — such as Hamzeh, apparently — believe that the Masons are a secretive organization controlling world governments and other nefarious activities. It’s a claim Milwaukee Mason Gavin DeGrave finds laughable.
“We can hardly plan a pancake breakfast.”
Frank Struble, grand master of Free and Accepted Masons in Wisconsin, says that there are 11,000 Masons in 180 lodges in Wisconsin. He insists that Masonry is not a religion.
Nevertheless, Hamzeh was so upset with the Masons that he and his co-conspirators — who were FBI informants — allegedly attempted to secure weapons for the planned shootout and took further steps to make it happen.
Authorities say that on January 19, Hamzeh and his co-conspirators went to a gun range to practice shooting with a pistol. Afterwards, they even went so far as to take a tour of a Masonic temple, although which specific temple they toured, or had in mind, has not been made public as of this writing.
Also on January 19, and into the wee hours of the morning on January 20, authorities said that Hamzeh and the informants discussed securing more guns — they somehow had already managed to obtain one machine gun — as well as silencers. They also discussed plans to station one man at the entrance to the temple while the other two walked through, shooting everyone they saw. They then intended to walk away from the temple as if nothing had happened.
On Monday, Hamzeh was able to purchase a machine gun and silencer from an undercover FBI agent. He was then arrested.
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Robert J. Shields praised the FBI and its informants for stopping Hamzeh in his tracks.
“The arrest of Samy Mohamed Hamzeh is the result of a well-coordinated undercover law enforcement action, at no time was the public’s safety placed in jeopardy. I would like to commend the efforts of the Joint Terrorism Task Force which includes our local and state law enforcement partners in thwarting an attack that could have resulted in significant injury and/or loss of life.”
Whether or not Hamzeh was a violent jihadist before he began talking to undercover FBI agents is a matter of dispute. Lawyer Ashraf Nubani alleges that the FBI routinely targets young Muslim men and, through the help of informants, plans fake terrorist attacks — only to stop them at the last minute.
According to former coworker Jawad Jawad, Samy Hamzeh was less of a terrorist and more of a flake who couldn’t hold a job and smoked a lot of marijuana.
“He smoked weed all the time. He’s crazy. He didn’t show up. He’s just a stupid kid, super stupid.”
As of this writing, Samy Mohamed Hamzeh has not yet been given the chance to enter a plea.
[Image via Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office]