John 16:2 Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.
Authorities foiled a 23-year-old Milwaukee man’s alleged plans to commit a deadly mass shooting at a Masonic temple in the city, prosecutors announced Tuesday afternoon.
Samy Mohamed Hamzeh was charged with possessing machine guns and a silencer, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin said in a news release.
Prosecutors said that law enforcement had been investigating Hamzeh since September, and that he had been communicating with two confidential sources since October.
Prosecutors allege Hamzeh toured the temple with those sources on January 19, and later discussed plans to use machine guns and silencers to kill dozens of people there. Hamzeh allegedly told the sources the event “will be known all over the world” and jihadists “will be proud of us.”
Prosecutors allege Hamzeh had been planning to travel to Jordan and attack Israeli soldiers and citizens in the West Bank, but ditched those plans and shifted his focus to the United States.
He was arrested after allegedly purchasing two automatic weapons and a silencer from undercover FBI agents on Monday, according to the news release.
In a statement, Robert J. Shields, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Milwaukee office, said the arrest thwarted “an attack that could have resulted in significant injury and/or loss of life.”
An FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force was involved in the investigation.
The news release includes several comments that Hamzeh allegedly told the sources during their recorded conversations, in which he explained his goals and strategies for the attack.
He allegedly said that one of the three of them needed to guard the temple’s main door and “spray anyone he finds” while others went upstairs to “spray everyone” in a meeting.
“We will shoot them, kill them and get out,” he allegedly said, according to the release. “We will walk and walk, after a while, we will be covered as if it is cold, and we’ll take the covers off and dump them in a corner and keep on walking, as if nothing happened, as if everything is normal. But one has to stand on the door, because if no one stood at the door, people will be going in and out, if people came in from outside and found out what is going on, everything is busted.”
Hamzeh also allegedly told the sources that “we will eliminate everyone,” prosecutors said.
“Thirty is excellent,” Hamzeh allegedly commented to the sources. “If I got out, after killing thirty people, I will be happy 100%. … 100% happy, because these 30 will terrify the world.”