CHICAGO (Reuters) – A 19-year-old man described by his attorney as “incredibly naive” pleaded not guilty Thursday to attempting to detonate what he thought was a car bomb outside a Chicago bar.
Adel Daoud appeared in federal court dressed in orange prison clothing with shackled legs, smiling and waving to his distraught-looking parents, who were seated in the front row of the courtroom.
Daoud, a U.S. citizen who lives in the Chicago suburb of Hillside, was arrested on September 10 after trying to explode a fake bomb provided by an undercover FBI agent as part of an investigation lasting several months, authorities said.
Daoud’s attorney Thomas Anthony Durkin said this was a case of entrapment. “This was not his idea,” Durkin told reporters after court. “This bombing was the idea of the government.”
“He’s just a young kid,” Durkin said. “He just graduated from high school … He’s incredibly naive.”
Daoud was told at the hearing that if convicted he could face five years to life in prison.
Durkin told U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman that he favored a trial as soon as possible. He also said he expects to receive clearance to review classified evidence to be used in the case. Durkin said he expects to receive clearance.
According to prosecutors, Daoud said he would only be satisfied with 100 killed and 300 injured in the attack. Daoud had repeatedly rejected suggestions to delay or halt plans for the attack, according to prosecutors. Daoud is being held without bail.
Daoud’s father, Ahmed Daoud, teared up while talking to reporters after the hearing. “He’s the best kid,” he said.
The next status hearing in the case was set for October 17.
(By Mary Wisniewski, Editing by Eric Walsh)