Chicago man sentenced to 16 years after pleading guilty to downtown terrorism bomb plot

By Darryl Coote

May 6 (UPI) -- A Chicago man was sentenced to 16 years in prison Monday, six years after he was arrested in an FBI sting operation for attempting to detonate an explosive device.

Adel Daoud, 25, was 18 when on Sept. 14, 2012, he was arrested after he twice pressed the detonator to what he thought was a 1,000-pound car bomb that was sitting out front of a popular bar in the downtown Loop neighborhood. Prior to the planned attack, Daoud had researched and created a list of potential Chicago targets, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.


U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman handed down the sentence, which is less than half of the 40 years the prosecution had requested, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Coleman said the man before her was no longer the "awkward" teen who first stood trial before her in 2012.

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Daoud was found mentally unfit for trial before receiving medical treatment as he made frequent outbursts in court.

"It seems with medication, he has come to understand the seriousness of the situation he faces," Coleman said.

The attempted bombing case was one of three Daoud faced Monday and that was concluded with his sentencing. Following his arrest for the attempted bombing, Daoud had solicited his cellmate to have an FBI agent who had posed as a terrorist during the sting operation killed. He also attacked an inmate who he felt had drawn an insulting picture of the Muslim prophet Mohammad, inflicting lacerations to the man's head and bite marks to his arm, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.


"The conviction and sentence of Adel Daoud are evidence of the FBI's commitment to working vigilantly with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to prevent violent attacks before they occur," said Jeffrey S. Sallet, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago FBI office. "... As long as terrorists threaten the security of our nation, we will unite to shield our citizens from harm."

In November, Daoud pleaded guilty to all 10 charges while maintaining his innocence under what is known as the Alford plea, which is when the defendant accepts all ramifications of the guilty verdict without admitting to committing the crime.

Daoud's attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, had said it was best for his client's mental health to avoid a lengthy trial.

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The prosecution had objected to his plea as it may support his claim that he was set up by the FBI.

By accepting the plea, Coleman also agreed to sentence Daoud on all three cases simultaneously.

With time already served, Daoud could be released in seven years. He was also given 45 years of supervised release.

"As long as terrorists threaten the security of our nation, we will unite to shield our citizens from harm," Sallet said. "Our message to terrorists is clear: We will find you, we will arrest you and we will bring you to justice."


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