CHICAGO—A Hillside man was arrested Friday evening after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed to be car bomb in front of a bar in downtown Chicago, announced Gary S. Shapiro, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; William C. Monroe, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.
The arrest of ADEL DAOUD, 18, a U.S. citizen, was the culmination of a rigorous undercover operation during which Daoud developed his attack plans and surveilled and selected a target. Daoud was closely monitored by law enforcement and was offered several opportunities to change his mind and walk away from the supposed attack.
“The explosives that Daoud allegedly attempted to detonate posed no threat to the public. They were inert and had been supplied by undercover law enforcement personnel,” Mr. Shapiro said.
Daoud was charged in a criminal complaint filed today in U.S. District Court with one count of attempt to use of a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) and one count of attempt to damage and destroy a building by means of an explosive. Daoud had an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys. He remains in custody pending a detention and preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday in federal court. Daoud 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.
According to an affidavit in support of the complaint, beginning in about October 2011, Daoud used e-mail accounts to obtain and distribute material, some of which he purported to author, relating to violent jihad and the killing of Americans.
In about May 2012, two FBI online undercover employees contacted Daoud in response to material Daoud posted online and thereafter exchanged several electronic communications with Daoud. According to the affidavit, during these communications Daoud expressed an interest in engaging in violent jihad, either in the United States or overseas.
The affidavit alleges that, from late May to mid-June 2012, Daoud confirmed his belief in the propriety of killing Americans in a terrorist attack and then began seeking online resources regarding how to carry out an attack.
In about June 2012, Daoud was introduced to a purported cousin of one of the undercover employees, who said he resided in New York and was an operational terrorist. Daoud allegedly expressed an interest in meeting the cousin, who unbeknownst to Daoud was an FBI undercover agent. In the course of his dealings with the undercover agent, Daoud allegedly drafted a list of approximately 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. yesterday, Daoud met the undercover agent in Villa Park and they drove to downtown 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 purported explosive device was parked. Daoud then drove the Jeep out of the parking lot and parked the vehicle in front of a bar in downtown Chicago, which was the target that he had previously selected. According to the affidavit, Daoud exited the vehicle and walked to an alley approximately a block away, and in the presence of the undercover agent, attempted to detonate the device by pressing the triggering mechanism. He was then arrested.
This case was investigated by the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which is comprised of FBI special agents, officers from the Chicago Police Department and representatives from 20 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The Justice Department’s National Security Division assisted in the investigation.
The public is reminded that a criminal complaint contains mere allegations. 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.