Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- An Illinois man was indicted for two terrorism-related crimes arising from a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operation in which he was given fake explosives to detonate in downtown Chicago.
Adel Daoud, who will turn 19 tomorrow, is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction -- a crime punishable by life imprisonment -- and attempting to damage or destroy a building with an explosive. U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys in Chicago today denied his request for bail.
In the months leading up to his Sept. 14 arrest, Daoud told undercover FBI agents he was interested in engaging in Islamic holy war, or jihad, either in the U.S or overseas, prosecutors said in announcing his arrest the next day.
“His convictions about the killing of Americans are dead-set,” Assistant U.S. Attorney William Ridgway told Keys today as he argued for Daoud’s continued detention.
No date has been set for his arraignment and he has not yet entered a plea. Daoud is from Hillside, Illinois, 15 miles west of the city, authorities said.
Daoud used Internet e-mail accounts to obtain and distribute material, “some of which he purported to author, relating to violent jihad and the killing of Americans,” according to a press statement issued by acting Chicago U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro on Sept. 15.
After being contacted by the FBI’s agents, he expressed interest in carrying out an attack, according to Shapiro. He was arrested after attempting to detonate a fake car bomb supplied to him by U.S. agents, prosecutors said.
“Defendant attempted to kill hundreds of people after months of planning,” during which made a list of potential targets and conducted his own surveillance, Ridgway said.
Defense lawyer Thomas A. Durkin told the judge he agreed with prosecutors’ assessment that the case was serious.
“The question is who turned this into a serious case? This kid or the FBI?” Durkin said, adding that his client had been entrapped by the bureau’s undercover agents.
Durkin argued that Daoud should be released into his father’s custody, confined to the family home, ordered to surrender his passport and made to wear an electronic monitoring device.
“This kid couldn’t put a bomb together if his life depended on it,” the attorney said, calling his client “a misguided kid.”
“This case stinks,” Durkin said. “What it is is a set-up.”
Rejecting those arguments, Keys said he saw no conditions under which Daoud could be released where he wasn’t a danger to the community.
“The fact is that he wished to do it,” the judge said, adding there was no indication Daoud’s views had changed since his apprehension.
The case is U.S. v. Daoud, 1:12-cr-00723, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).
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