Illinois man indicted on domestic terrorism charges

By Kaley Fowler

A 19-year-old man from Hillside, Ill., charged with purchasing a car bomb from an undercover FBI agent, was indicted by a grand jury Sept. 20 on domestic terrorism charges.

According to court records, Adel Daoud was arrested Sept. 10 after he bought a bomb from the federal agent and allegedly tried to set it off outside a bar in the South Loop.

The grand jury indicted him on charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to damage or destroy a building by means of an explosive. The charges carry a potential life sentence and 5–10 years in prison, respectively.

During a Sept. 20 detention hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Ridgway said the agent met with Daoud six times prior to the attempted attack and accompanied him on the mission. The agent gave Daoud several chances to back out, but he kept pushing his agenda, which resulted in his arrest, according to Ridgway.

Ridgway said FBI officials began monitoring Daoud’s Internet activity in November 2011 when it became apparent he was frequently posting on extremist Jihadi message boards. Daoud recently posted that he “wants to hurt the U.S. from the inside,” which prompted investigators to launch an undercover sting.

According to Ridgway, Daoud told the undercover FBI agent that he would “only be satisfied with 100 killed and 300 injured” as a result of the bombing.

During the detention hearing, Daoud’s attorney, Thomas Durkin, argued that the FBI coerced his client into committing the crime.

“Never in my career have I seen the FBI go to this length to set someone up,” Durkin said, adding that the situation was nothing but a bunch of “talk from a confused kid” until the FBI got involved.

Durkin requested his client be allowed to stay with his mother until his arraignment, but Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys ruled Daoud posed too much of a risk not to be detained.

“Daoud has expressed strong desire to kill Americans, and he thought he had the means to do it,” Keys said. “He sought publicity, [and] now he has it.”

According to Thomas Mockaitis, a DePaul University history professor and expert on terrorism, publicity is often a motivating factor for domestic terrorists.

“Terror is an act of communication as much as anything else,” Mockaitis said. “It’s like theater. The audience is those who watch, not just those who die or are injured.”

Mockaitis said domestic terrorism doesn’t differ from the traditional definition because in both cases an individual or group is targeting others out of hate.

“[Domestic terrorists] are the hardest ones to combat,” Mockaitis said. “They’re individuals who we call ‘lone wolves’, who have a loose affiliation with an ideology but no real strong ties to an organization, and they’re not part of an organized plot.”

Daoud would appear to fall into the “lone wolf” category, according to Mockaitis, who added that domestic terrorists are often difficult to trace because of their independent nature.

Daoud’s next court appearance will be his arraignment before U.S. District Judge Sharon Coleman. A date has not been set, as of press time.