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Wrigleyville Bomb Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

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Sami Samir Hassoun

Sami Samir Hassoun was charged with planting a bomb outside a bar near Wrigley Field. The bomb was actually a fake. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) — A man accused of trying to detonate a bomb in Wrigleyville on a crowded Saturday night has pleaded of not guilty at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, attorney Myron Auerbach entered the plea for Sami Samir Hassoun, 22, who entered the court with his hands cuffed behind his back.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody Reports

Hassoun at one point turned to smile at family members sitting on courtroom benches. One relative crossed her palms over her heart, then blew Hassoun a kiss.

Auerbach told Judge Susan Cox he understands there are over 100 hours of federal video surveillance he must review in preparing the defense.

Auerbach said outside court that Hassoun is a big talker, but not a terror threat.

“I don’t believe he realizes how he got here,” he said.

Hussein was arrested after allegedly leaving a knapsack he believed contained explosives outside Sluggers bar 3540 N. Clark St., just as a Dave Matthews concert was ending in nearby Wrigley Field.

The FBI said Hussein never endangered anyone. Undercover federal agents provided fake explosives on that Saturday night.

Auerbach said he has yet to determine whether he’ll present an entrapment defense for Hassoun. His next court appearance is Nov. 3.

In June, Hassoun, of the 4700 block of North Kedzie Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood, began expressing to an associate the desire to commit acts of violence in the city for monetary gain and to cause political transformation, the federal complaint alleges. His associate was secretly cooperating with the FBI.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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