Man accused of plan to attack Milwaukee temple goes on trial

Sketch of Samy Mohammed Hamzeh in court, by Jeff Darrow
By  | 

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee man accused of plotting a mass shooting in defense of Islam will try to convince jurors at his trial that FBI informants encouraged him to purchase weapons for the alleged attack.

Attorneys for 26-year-old Samy Hamzeh plan to argue at the trial starting Wednesday that FBI agents spent months trying to entrap their client, who has no criminal record.

The FBI says their agents thwarted an act of terrorism when they arrested Hamzeh in January 2016, alleging he was going to shoot dozens of people at a Masonic temple in downtown Milwaukee.

The Journal Sentinel reports that Hamzeh was ultimately only charged with possessing two machine guns and a silencer, all of which he bought from undercover FBI agents who had informants set up the deal.