The Chicago District Attorney's office has announced the arrest of an 18-year-old suburban man for allegedly conspiring to set off a bomb in Downtown Chicago Friday night. If true, it could be another case of a homegrown terrorist.
The suspect is a US citizen. The FBI arrested him Friday night as he attempted to detonate a fake car bomb in front of an undercover agent who had been tracking him for months.
A request for privacy and a refusal to answer any questions were the only responses Saturday night from relatives of suspected would-be terrorist Adel Daoud at his family's home in west suburban Hillside. But his neighbors are speaking out. Dorothy Leverson's son is a close friend of Daoud's.
"I've sat and listened in on conversations with my kids, all the time and the conversation, they even spoke religion, because we are Baptists and it was never like, 'we hate Americans' or anything like that," Leverson said.
The FBI, however, is painting a very different picture of Daoud, who is now accused with trying to detonate a car bomb in front of a yet-unidentified Downtown Chicago bar.
In an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court Saturday, the FBI says Daoud came to their attention last year because of Internet postings he made related to waging jihad on American soil. The affidavit says that Daoud was contacted by undercover agents and developed the plan to car bomb the bar over several months after drawing up a list of up to 29 possible targets.
At one point, says the affidavit, Daoud said he'd found "the perfect place." "It's a bar, it's a liquor store, it's a concert all in one bundle." according to Daoud, the place would be filled with "the evilest people."
In a statement Saturday, acting U.S/ Attorney Gary Shapiro says "the explosives that Daoud allegedly attempted to detonate posed no threat to the public. They were inert and had been supplied by undercover law enforcement personnel."
Though they would not speak on camera, members of the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park say Daoud graduated from the foundation's high school and still attended prayers here.
A spokesperson for the Islamic Foundation would not confirm this information, seeking only to distance the foundation from Daoud's alleged actions.
"We are law absolutely abiding citizens of the United States," said Islamic Foundation's Saleem Shaikh. "We have been around for here 40 years, and we will fully cooperating with the law enforcement, and let law take its course."
According to the affidavit Daoud wanted al Qaeda to take responsibility for the bombing.
Daoud remains in custody and will be back in federal court Monday afternoon. He faces anywhere from five years to life in prison.