FBI Arrests Milwaukee Man In Mass Shooting Plot

Samy Mohamed Hamzeh Charged For Planning To Shoot Up Masonic Temple

Federal officials in Milwaukee say they’ve arrested a 23-year-old man who planned to attack a Masonic temple.

Samy Mohamed Hamzeh was charged on Tuesday with weapons-related counts. Federal officials said they’d been investigating him since September.

Samy Mohamed Hamzeh. Waukesha County Sheriff

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Authorities said the FBI was tipped off that Hamzeh had planned to travel to Israel to attack Israeli soldiers and citizens in the West Bank. They said Hamzeh abandoned the plan as too difficult and later decided on a domestic attack.

Court documents say Hamzeh toured a Masonic center in Milwaukee on Jan. 19 and was recorded discussing his plans to attack it in the name of “defending Muslim religion.”

Documents say Hamzeh was arrested Monday after buying machine guns and silencers from two undercover FBI employees.

Hamzeh’s attorney didn’t immediately return messages left after business hours.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told journalists officials were focused on public safety while also making a call for tolerance.

“We want to make sure our law enforcement is respecting the rights of individuals,” Barrett said. “At the same time, you can bet your bottom dollar, we are making sure we’re doing everything we can protect the public here.”

The Islamic Society of Milwaukee said Hamzeh wasn’t known to the organization.