CHICAGO (Reuters) - A man who wanted to carry out a terrorist attack and planted what he thought was a bomb in Chicago has been charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and an explosive device, authorities said on Monday.
Since June, an FBI informant and undercover agents had been in contact with Sami Samir Hassoun, 22, providing him with a fake bomb and more than $3,000 to fulfill his alleged desire to expose supposedly inadequate security measures and embarrass Chicago Mayor Richard Daley into resigning.
In a series of planning meetings secretly tape-recorded by the FBI, Hassoun reportedly suggested various attacks including unleashing a virus on the city, poisoning its water supply, bombing the landmark Willis Tower skyscraper, attacking police officers or assassinating the mayor.
On Saturday night, the FBI said Hassoun was driven to a busy entertainment district where he dropped into a trash can a bag containing what he was told was a homemade bomb capable of wiping out half a city block.
There have been a few sting operations in the Midwest in recent months involving what authorities said were individuals like Hassoun who wanted to launch attacks.
(Reporting by Andrew Stern; Editing by Stacey Joyce)