US: Terror suspect sought agent’s murder
CHICAGO (AP) — A teenager facing terrorism charges for allegedly trying to bomb a downtown Chicago bar is now accused of seeking to have an undercover FBI agent killed while the suspect was behind bars, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Adel Daoud faces multiple charges, including solicitation of murder or attempted murder for allegedly trying to kill the agent, who the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago says played a role in a sting that led to the suspect’s initial arrest in 2012.
The 19-year-old Hillside man has been jailed since that arrest for allegedly trying to ignite what he thought was a car bomb outside the bar; the bomb was fake and part of the sting. Daoud has pleaded not guilty to charges in the bombing case.
As part of the alleged terror plot, prosecutors say Daoud was introduced to an undercover FBI agent posing as a terrorist in New York. After Daoud’s arrest, he learned the person was an FBI agent, and at that point allegedly sought his murder.
Daoud’s attorney, Thomas Durkin, said in an emailed statement on Thursday that “the government was pursuing the allegations of a notoriously unreliable street gang jailhouse informant.”
“These fantastic new charges only further support our previous public position that the trial evidence will show that Adel Daoud is an immature, impressionable and manipulable teenager — not the international terrorist the government seems hell-bent on trying to paint,” Durkin said.
Daoud already faces up to life in prison if convicted of the terrorism charges filed last year. A conviction on the solicitation count carries a maximum 20-year prison term; another murder-for-hire count carries a maximum 10-year sentence.
According to prosecutors, Daoud solicited someone “to use physical force to murder or attempt to murder the undercover agent.” Prosecutors’ statement didn’t elaborate.
Another charge of obstruction alleges Daoud attempted to kill the agent — who is identified only as “Individual A” — to prevent the person from testifying.
Daoud’s case has garnered attention in recent months as his defense asked the government to provide details on how it might have used expanded surveillance programs as revealed recently by Edward Snowden.
In a one-sentence notice posted Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman denied Daoud’s request that she order prosecutors to disclose details on any expanded surveillance.
Prosecutors argued they didn’t intend to use evidence derived directly from expanded surveillance at Daoud’s trial and therefore don’t have to divulge it.
The defense said it was critical for them to know if the enhanced surveillance led to the investigation. If so, they say they may challenge subsequent evidence on grounds the government violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.
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