Masons on alert after foiled terror plot

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 23:35:20-05

MILWAUKEE- A place known for its open door policy is forced to make changes. 

"We want Masonry to be open to the public and to our members, but by the same token we have to exercise good sense too,"  explained Frank Struble, Masons Grand Master in Wisconsin. 

Milwaukee terror suspect Samy Hazeh was allegedly plotting to kill 30 people at the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center in downtown Milwaukee.  The door there is now locked 24 hours a day along with other Masonic facilities around the state. 

"Lodges meet there, Scottish Rite does their activities's rented out for weddings and things like that," said Struble. 

The Criminal Complaint shows Hamzeh toured the Milwaukee facility.  The Grand Master doesn't know how the suspect got inside, but a tour for a potential wedding venue is common. 

When referring to his plan, Hamzeh targeted Masonic members saying "these are the one's that need to be killed." 

Hamzeh made his initial court appearance Tuesday.  Here's what he said after reading through the complaint.

Judge:  "Do you understand?"
Hamzeh:  "I do understand, but I don't agree with it."

He maintained his innocence. 

"Yes I understand, but this is not true sir."

Struble doesn't know why someone would want to harm a group known for doing good.

"It's a chilling scenario, but who knows what twisted minds come up with," said Struble.