A Chicago bomb plot was uncovered by federal investigators, thwarting the attempt of a teenager to start a “violent jihad” by blowing up a car outside a bar downtown.
FBI officials arrested 18-year-old American Adel Daoud for the plot, marking the end of an undercover sting where agents provided the teenager with a fake bomb, AFP reported. Daoud had tried to set off the bomb just before being detained, the US Attorney’s office in Chicago said.
The Chicago bomb plot was uncovered in May, when two FBI agents contacted Daoud in response to material he had posted online. The agents started an exchange of messages to learn more about his plans.
“During these communications, Daoud expressed an interest in engaging in violent jihad, either in the United States or overseas, referred to his ongoing efforts to recruit other individuals to engage in violent jihad and mentioned that he had discussed plans for an attack with ‘trusted brothers,’” read an affidavit.
For the next few weeks, agents corresponded with Daoud, who sought guidance on whether to carry out a terrorist attack in the United States, confirming his belief “in the propriety of killing Americans in a terrorist attack.” Daoud then moved on to find out how to actually carry out the attack.
This led to a meeting in July with an undercover FBI agent, who introduced him to who he referred to as the cousin of another agent, a man the agents claimed was an “operational terrorist.” Further meetings confirmed that Daoud wanted to carry out an attack in the United States, with plans coming together in August to use a car bomb in Chicago.
Daoud mentioned to the agents that he had been discussing the topic of an attack with others, but someone at his mosque “yelled at him,” and his father told him to “stop talking about these topics.”
He still pressed on with the Chicago bomb plot, AFP reported. When he saw the fake bomb hidden in the back of a Jeep Cherokee, “Daoud expressed excitement about the device” and hoped he would kill many people in the attack, the affidavit said. No one was ever in danger from the attack, New York Magazine noted.
Adel Daoud, who lives in a suburb of Chicago, appeared before a judge on Saturday and was charged for the Chicago bomb plot, getting one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and also with attempting to destroy a building by means of an explosive. He will appear Monday for a preliminary hearing.