The 18-year-old accused of formulating a terrorist plot in a sleepy little town right next door to Elmhurst is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in federal court at 3 p.m. today, Monday, Sept. 17.
Adel Daoud, who lived with his parents in Hillside, was planning to blow up as many people as possible in and around a Chicago bar Friday night. He had hoped to "make it in the news" this weekend. He did—nationally and internationally—but not for the reason he had planned.
Daoud had been under investigation for months, according to the Chicago Division of the FBI. Federal investigators set him up with a fake bomb, then let him place it in front of a crowded Chicago bar and push the detonation button. Nothing happened, except of course that Daoud was hauled off by authorities for attempting to carry out a terrorist plot.
The Chicago Division of the FBI released details about the investigation over the weekend, saying Daoud, a U.S. citizen, was closely monitored by law enforcement as he developed his attack plan and selected his target. He was offered several opportunities to change his mind and walk away from the supposed attack, the FBI statement said.
According to an affidavit, beginning in about October 2011, Daoud obtained and distribute material, some of which he purported to write, relating to jihad and the killing of Americans.
In about May 2012, two FBI undercover agents contacted Daoud and exchanged several emails, in which Daoud expressed an interest in engaging in violent jihad, either in the U.S. or overseas. The affidavit alleges that from late May to mid-June 2012, Daoud began seeking online resources to help him carry out an attack.
In about June 2012, Daoud met a purported New York cousin of one of the undercover employees, who said he was an operational terrorist. In the course of his dealings with the undercover agent, Daoud allegedly drafted a list of about 29 potential targets, including military recruiting centers, bars, malls and other tourist attractions in the Chicago area. He then selected, researched and surveilled a target for attack to be carried out with an explosive device supplied by the undercover agent, the affidavit alleges.
About 7:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, Daoud met the undercover agent in Villa Park and they drove to Chicago. During the drive, Daoud led the undercover agent in a prayer that Daoud and the agent succeed in their attack, kill many people and cause destruction. They entered a parking lot where a Jeep containing the phony explosive device was parked. Daoud then drove the Jeep out of the parking lot and parked it in front of a bar. Law enforcement personnel are not releasing the name of the bar.
According to the affidavit, Daoud exited the vehicle and walked to an alley about a block away and, in the presence of the undercover agent, attempted to detonate the device by pressing the trigger. He was then arrested.
Daoud was charged with one count of attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of attempt to damage and destroy a building by means of an explosive. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a potential maximum of 20 years in prison for attempt to damage or destroy a building by means of an explosive.
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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