Chicago Youth in Bomb Plot: Terrorist or Just Socially Awkward Teen?


Federal authorities charge that Adel Daoud, 18, a U.S. citizen in the Chicago area, spent months researching and posting about the violent world of jihad and how he was bent on killing Americans. The native Chicagoan ultimately plotted to car bomb a downtown bar, but the FBI was onto him months ago and secretly recorded his every step, authorities said, according to the Chicago Tribune. He is accused of standing in an alley, punching the trigger of the fake bomb before agents swooped in to arrest him. Daoud’s attorney lashed out at the government’s case, saying the FBI targeted an immature, socially awkward teen, holding “his hand the whole way” through the scheme.

“The way the government thinks is if they find somebody on the Internet that might be talking about radical Islamic beliefs, what they do then is they have to make sure he is not going to commit terrorism, so they invite him along,” said Thomas Anthony Durkin, Daoud’s attorney. “I guess we have to wait and see whether or not he is going to blow up this fake bomb they have created for him. I find that somewhat suspicious.” Daoud was 17 when the scheme first began, putting him at the younger end of terrorism defendants in the U.S., said Karen Greenberg of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School. While it is not yet clear whether Daoud’s mental capability might play a role in the case, the issue has been raised more and more among terrorism suspects who are snagged in undercover stings, Greenberg said.

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