A man who plotted to attack a Masonic Temple in Milwaukee was arrested on gun charges this week, U.S. authorities confirmed
Samy Mohamed Hamzeh, 23, initially planned to travel to Israel's disputed territories and carry out attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians there. However, he changed his plans for logistical reasons, switching his target to the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center in downtown Milwaukee instead.
The Freemasons is a fraternal organization focused around charitable giving and personal spiritual development. Since its foundation around the 17th Century it has suffered waves of persecution, including during the Holocaust. The organization is the subject of many conspiracy theories.
“Samy Mohamed Hamzeh devised a detailed plan to commit a mass shooting intended to kill dozens of people,” Attorney Gregory Haanstad said in a statement. “He also said that he wanted this mass shooting to be ‘known the world over’ and to ‘ignite’ broader clashes.”
Two FBI informants became involved in planning the attack with him and recorded his schemes.
“Sure, all over the world, all the mujahedeen will be talking and they will be proud of us,” Hamzeh reportedly said to them, expecting a positive reaction from other jihadis for his plot.
He was arrested after buying two automatic weapons and silencers from undercover agents.