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Chicago bomb plot suspect could plead guilty in February

This news story was published on December 20, 2011.
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By Annie Sweeney, Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — A suspect in a plot to set off a bomb near Chicago’s Wrigley Field could plead guilty to federal charges in February.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman agreed to a request from both federal prosecutors and an attorney for Sami Samir Hassoun to strike his scheduled trial date and instead set Feb. 14 for him to plead guilty.

Hassoun faces charges that he planted an explosive device in a garbage can on a crowded street near Wrigley Field on the night of a Dave Matthews Band concert last year.

According to court documents filed last week by the government, the two sides are negotiating a plea deal in which Hassoun would plead guilty.

Hassoun, a Lebanese citizen, is being held without bond after authorities said he spent months planning a terrorist attack in Chicago — all while under FBI surveillance.

In September 2010, undercover agents gave Hassoun a backpack with what he thought was a bomb. He was arrested moments after he dropped it in a trash receptacle by a sports bar on a busy Saturday night.

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