According to the Chicago Tribune the FBI has arrested Sami Samir Hassoun and charged the 22-year-old Lebanese man with “plotting to bomb a strip of crowded Wrigleyville night spots around the time people were leaving a Dave Matthews concert at the ballpark over the weekend.”
Hassoun “was arrested as he placed a backpack containing what he thought were high explosives in a trash can in front of Sluggers on Clark Street, about a block south of Wrigley Field.” Instead the backpack contained a fake bomb that had been given to him by an undercover agent.
Here’s more from Robert Grant, the head of the FBI’s office in Chicago:
He was acting alone. He was not, I would say, highly skilled but definitely desirous of finding the material he needed to carry out his attack. His intent was to kill as many people as he could in an area of town that was highly populated, in an effort to cause as much destruction as possible.
Hassoun allegedly also had discussions with the undercover agent about other potential terrorist activities in and around Chicago, reportedly including “a biological attack on the city, poisoning Lake Michigan, attacking police officers, bombing the Willis Tower, and assassinating Mayor Richard Daley.”
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.