More translation work needed in Masonic temple plot case

June 29, 2016 GMT

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The FBI still has months of translation work to do before a case against a man accused of plotting to shoot up a Masonic temple in Milwaukee in the name of Islam can move forward, federal prosecutors say.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Kanter has said the recordings of Samy Mohamed Hamzeh speaking Arabic with government informants were made between October and January.

Hamzeh, 23, has been charged with receiving and possessing improperly registered firearms. Authorities say he purchased two fully automatic weapons and a silencer from undercover federal agents on Jan. 25. He faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts if found guilty.

Kanter indicated in federal court on Tuesday that translating 106 CDs from Arabic to English will take months, and that the work is halfway done, the Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2932FX2 ) reported.

Prosecutors say Hamzeh toured the Masonic center in downtown Milwaukee, practiced at a shooting range and talked about how the attack was to defend Islam by killing Masons.

Hamzeh’s attorney, Craig Albee, said in court he wanted to read all the conversations before making pretrial motions or arguments for Hamzeh’s release.

Hamzeh’s family members say he was set up by the FBI and is innocent of the charges.


Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com