CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ante was raised Wednesday in one of Chicago's most outlandish terrorism cases.
Already laced with discussions of "lizard people," flying cars and the Illuminati, federal prosecutors now say they will appeal the 16 year prison sentence handed down last month to Adel Daoud contending the term was too short.
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Prosecutors wanted 40 years for Daoud after he was snared in an FBI sting operation, ready to push the button on a half-ton car bomb outside a Loop nightclub.
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The 2012 "plot" had been devised by federal authorities after trolling jihadist websites for potential threats. The bomb was fake, but Daoud didn't know it. His co-schemers were FBI operatives and he didn't realize that either. The Hillside man was 18-years-old at the time of the investigation. He has been locked up ever since his arrest on federal terrorism charges.
Las November Daoud was allowed to enter what is known as an "Alford plea." Under that rare legal tactic, he sidestepped a federal trial and made no admission of actual guilt while still admitting the government had the goods on him and would win at trial.
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Wednesday's appeal of Daoud's sentence is not sitting well with the terror subject's attorney.
"It is a stupid decision," attorney Tom Durkin told the ABC7 I-Team in an interview. "It is legally wrong."
The outspoken Durkin has been passionate about what he believes is government overreach in many terror cases and the use of unfair, and many times illegal, investigative tactics by law enforcement.
He said the U.S. attorney's appeal is a "blatant effort to cover-up for the mistakes its office and the FBI made over the course of the entire investigation. Everyone that gets to hear the evidence comes to the same conclusion as Judge (Sharon) Coleman."
At sentencing Judge Coleman pointedly described Daoud as an "awkward young man with few friends" who was immediately drawn to the undercover FBI agent who was posing as a radical sympathizer.
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Now Daoud claims to be a reformed jihadi and someone who deserves a second chance in life. Even with his 16 year sentence, he will be credited for the seven years he has been behind bars and face 45 years of court supervision.
"The defendant first undertook upon himself to commit violent jihad, he then decided he would solicit someone to kill a federal agent, and then he assaulted an inmate. So this is an individual who had a pattern," said Jeffrey Sallet, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI-Chicago after sentencing last month.
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Daoud's attorney had asked for little-if any-additional time in prison. The government wants a full appellate review of what Judge Coleman did sentence Daoud to serve. If prosecutors were to win the appeal the Hillside man could be re-sentenced and face a more lengthy term.
Wednesday's appeal was not surprising in view of what U.S. Attorney John Lausch said immediately after the hearing last month.
"We asked for a sentence of 40 years. The sentence that the defendant received was only 16, so we are disappointed in the sentence," Lausch said.
The evidence included undercover video of Daoud praying for maximum carnage shortly before detonating what he thought was a half-ton car bomb outside a downtown Chicago bar. Investigators said that Daoud was hoping to commit mass murder and that he helped choose potential targets and enthusiastically participated in the planning.
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Even though the sentence was longer than what Daoud and his attorneys had asked for and hoped they would get, they were optimistic about eventual outcome.
"This gives him a life and we can't ask for anything more than that," Durkin said.
Now Durkin, Daoud and team, will have to fight anew-hoping to fend off a U.S. attorney who seems intent on securing a longer sentence.
On Wednesday afternoon the I-Team contacted U.S. Attorney John Lausch concerning the Daoud sentence appeal. Spokesman Joseph Fitzpatrick said "we'll hold off commenting until our brief is filed."
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