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Man Accused Of Plot To Bomb Chicago Bar

By Amy Cavanaugh in News on Sep 16, 2012 6:00PM

An 18-year-old man from Hillsdale was arrested Friday night after he attempted to detonate what he thought was a car bomb outside of a downtown Chicago bar. But there was no real threat, since Adel Daoud was under F.B.I. surveillance for months and was working with undercover agents posing as extremists.

Daoud is a U.S. citizen and he caught the attention of the authorities in October 2011. The New York Times reports that

he sent out e-mails “relating to violent jihad and the killing of Americans,” according to an affidavit in support of the complaint. At one point he sent out several e-mails with a PowerPoint presentation titled “The Osama bin Laden I Know,” in which he defended Bin Laden’s tactics.

“Osama wasn’t crazy for wanting to destroy America,” he wrote. “This superpower killed millions of people.”

F.B.I. agents contacted him in May, and the New York Times reports that "during these conversations he 'expressed an interest in engaging in violent jihad, either in the United States or overseas,' according to the affidavit."

Officials then introduced him to someone posing as an “operational terrorist," and offered him a list of 29 potential targets including bars, tourist attractions, and military recruiting centers.

We don't know which bar he selected, but it was in the South Loop next to a liquor store and Daoud conducted surveillance on it. He planned the attack and the F.B.I. gave him a fake device to use. When he tried to detonate it Friday night in an alley next to the bar, he was arrested and charged with "attempting to destroy a building by means of an explosive and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction."

The Sun-Times reports:

Charges in the case led by the Joint Terrorism Task Force alleged that Daoud was pursuing a jihad in Chicago, bent on killing as many Americans as possible in a plot that he grew more intent on carrying out after he began posting items on the Internet about a terrorist attack.

To investigators, Daoud is the portrait of a young, fanatical man radicalized over the Internet, who spoke of jihad to the point that apparently a local religious leader from his mosque told him to quit it. Daoud, a Muslim, targeted a bar because of Islam’s ban on drinking alcohol.

Daoud is scheduled to appear in federal court tomorrow.