Would-be Chicago backpack bomber gets 23 years

May 30, 2013

The Associated Press

 A U.S. judge has sentenced a Lebanese immigrant to 23 years in prison for placing a backpack he believed contained a bomb along a bustling street near a major Chicago sports stadium.

Sami Samir Hassoun was sentenced Thursday.

The 25-year-old former baker pleaded guilty last year to dropping the backpack into a trash can outside a bar packed with late-night revelers across the road from Wrigley Field in 2010. FBI undercover agents had given him the bag.

The defense depicted Hassoun as a gullible youth sucked into the sting during an alcohol-addled stretch of his life by an informant eager to please his FBI handlers.

Prosecutors say he declined repeated opportunities to back out of the plot.