Adel Daoud has pleaded not guilty to trying to ignite what he thought was a bomb outside a Chicago bar in 2012.
Friday, defense attorney Thomas Durkin tells a federal judge she can restore faith in the judicial system by ordering the government to say if it used enhanced surveillance.
He wants to know whether the evidence comes from spying programs revealed by former government contractor Edward Snowden.
Prosecutors say are not obliged to reveal that information.
A ruling will come at a later date.