Terror suspect charged with plotting FBI agent's murder
Adel Daoud was charged in an indictment with 1 count each of solicitation of murder or attempted murder of a federal agent, murder-for-hire, and obstruction of justice
By Jason Meisner
HILLSIDE, Mich. — A west suburban teenager accused of plotting to set off a bomb outside a downtown bar is facing new charges he solicited the murder of an undercover FBI agent after his arrest last September.
Adel Daoud, 19, of Hillside, was charged in an indictment today with one count each of solicitation of murder or attempted murder of a federal agent, murder-for-hire, and obstruction of justice.
According to the new indictment, Daoud was introduced in July 2012 to "Individual A," an undercover FBI agent posing as a terrorist residing in New York, who told Daoud he would supply him with an explosive device to use in a terrorist attack in Chicago. Daoud learned that Individual A was an FBI agent after he was arrested, but he still "allegedly solicited another person to use physical force to murder or attempt to murder the undercover agent," prosecutors said.
The charges allege that last Nov. 28, a person connected to Daoud made a telephone call with the intent of committing the murder of Individual A in return for payment. Daoud wanted Individual A dead to prevent the agent from testifying in court, prosecutors said.
Daoud came under FBI scrutiny after posting messages online about killing Americans, authorities have said. FBI analysts posing as terrorists exchanged messages with him and ultimately helped him plan an attack. Daoud was arrested last September after being accused of trying to detonate what he thought was a powerful car bomb outside a bar in the Loop.
Daoud's attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, did not immediately return calls for comment.
Earlier this week, a federal judge in Chicago ruled that Daoud's lawyers are not entitled to know whether the terrorism investigation was sparked by the controversial government surveillance program recently exposed by Edward Snowden.
In her order, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said she agreed with prosecutors, who argued they are not required to disclose whether the Daoud investigation has its roots in the spying programs, including any applications for search warrants that are approved by the secret FISA court.
"To the extent the defendant seeks disclosure not only of the fact of FISA surveillance but the actual contents of FISA applications, such information would itself be classified and its disclosure would reveal information to which the defendant plainly is not entitled under FISA's notice provisions," prosecutors said in a recent filing cited by the judge in her order.
The federal surveillance programs — including one that tracks internet use by foreigners with possible links to terrorism — were exposed in June by Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who leaked details to news organizations. Snowden was charged with espionage but fled the country and has since been granted asylum in Russia.
In the ensuing uproar, government officials have defended the programs as a highly effective weapon against terrorism.
While a blow to Daoud's defense team, Coleman's ruling is just the first of myriad issues to be sorted out in the case involving access to classified materials.
At a status hearing earlier this week, Durkin told the judge he has sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee asking it to turn over surveillance documents it has involving the surveillance on Daoud. Durkin said the letter references a public hearing last year in which U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., pointed to Daoud's case as an example of the spying program successfully stopping a would-be terrorist.
Durkin told the judge he "expects to hear from them soon" on whether the committee will voluntarily turn over the documents. If they refuse, Durkin indicated he may follow up with subpoenas.
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