Man caught in FBI sting for plotting to blow up a Chicago bar in 2012 is sentenced to 16 years in prison

A federal judge on Monday handed an Illinois man the sentence for trying to kill hundreds of people by detonating what he thought was a car bomb outside a crowded Chicago bar.


                            Man caught in FBI sting for plotting to blow up a Chicago bar in 2012 is sentenced to 16 years in prison

A man was sentenced to 16 years behind bars in federal prison on May 6 following an incident where he tried to detonate a car bomb in front of a bar in downtown Chicago. Adel Daoud was only 17-years-old at the time when he attempted the potentially deadly bombing in September 2012 and was arrested when he was 18. He has already served seven years in prison waiting for the sentence. 

Shortly before the planned attack, Daoud, who was caught up in an FBI sting, had researched and created a list of potential targets in the city with an undercover agent, the bureau said.

CNN reported that Daoud, who is a US citizen, had even sent emails to the undercover agent about violent jihad as well as killing US citizens. The FBI said that the undercover agent had reportedly led Daoud into a Jeep, which was rigged with an inert explosive that he had parked in front of the bar.

Chicago terrorism suspect Adel Daoud. Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman handed Adel Daouda 16-year prison sentence for trying to kill hundreds of people by detonating a car bomb outside a Chicago bar in 2012, saying she factored in his mental health in imposing a sentence much lower than prosecutors requested. (U.S. Marshals office via AP, File)

A hidden camera captured a gleeful Daoud driving with an agent posing as a terrorist to the Cactus Bar on September 14, 2012. He cupped his hands in over his face, praying that God ensures the attack made worldwide news and that it strikes fear into nonbelievers. He prayed this would be the first of many attacks, the video showed.

He was arrested after parking a Jeep outside the downtown bar on that Friday night, walking to an alley a block away and pushing a button he believed would set off a 1,000-pound (454-kilogram) bomb inside the vehicle. Daoud pushed the button a second time when it didn't go off.

Agents supplied the fake device, which was made to smell like diesel fuel and had wiring contacted to bags of fertilizer to convince Daoud it was real. He was told it would destroy much of the block and kill hundreds of people out on the town.

A federal judge on Monday handed the Illinois man the sentence saying she factored in Adel Daoud's mental health in imposing a sentence much lower than prosecutors requested. The sentence — which, with time served, could mean the 25-year-old goes free in less than 10 years — includes prison time for attempting to have an FBI agent killed and for slashing an inmate with a shiv for taunting him with a drawing of the Prophet Muhammad.

Daoud didn't react Monday afternoon when the judge announced the sentence, but he smiled and wished Coleman well as the hearing ended. His lead attorney, Thomas Durkin, told reporters outside court afterward that the sentence was "just" and "courageous." He added about his client: "This gives him a life. We can't ask for anything more."

The judge had held a three-day sentencing hearing last week before the trial and here Daoud apologized, reports Chicago SunTimes. “Sometimes I laugh at my stupidity.” He added: “I don’t want to kill people or join a terrorist group.”

“It was never too late to back out from the plan until I pushed the button,” Daoud told the judge. “I didn’t realize that.”

Prosecutors had asked for a 40-year prison term, saying in one filing that Daoud sounded so eager to proceed with a terrorist attack that agents repeatedly sought delays to give Daoud more time to think and change his mind. "The defendant needed no convincing to kill," the document said.

Coleman had temporarily deemed Daoud mentally ill in 2016, saying she was convinced at the time that he truly believed shadowy figures were out to get him. He was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. In addition to the 16-year prison term, Coleman said Daoud would be on 45 years of supervised release once he is out. She also mandated that he attend what she called "violent extremism counseling." 

With AP inputs.