Judge weighs mental state of terror suspect

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
CHICAGO (WLS) -- U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman will rule this week on the mental fitness of suburban terror suspect Adel Daoud, who has sent the I-Team a new letter asserting his belief the government is composed of aliens.

Daoud's attorneys argue such statements prove the Hillside native should be found unfit for trial. The 21-year-old is charged with plotting to detonate a bomb outside a bar in Chicago's South Loop.

Daoud's letter arrived with a Shirley Temple stamp at ABC7 Eyewitness News. The half-page typewritten letter mirrors statements that Daoud made last week in court during a two-day competency hearing, including claims that the government is composed of "alien reptiles from another planet who worship the devil."

The hearing was aimed at determining whether the terror suspect is able to comprehend the charges against him and can assist in his own defense.

"At this point in time today, in August of 2016, he simply is not competent to stand trial," said attorney Tom Durkin.

Judge Coleman will rule Thursday morning on Daoud's mental fitness. The government believes he is able to understand the charges against him. He was arrested in an FBI sting

Defense attorneys say Daoud suffers from delusional disorder which worsened in recent months, especially after one of his cellmates at the MCC committed suicide in January.

"I think the argument is that he has seriously deteriorated since he's been in custody. That that deterioration has been since he's been housing that special housing unit, or the "shu," isolation, whatever you want to call it," Durkin said.

Daoud called the ABC7 I-Team from jail in July.

"I have an announcement. I want to endorse Donald Trump for president. I like him, he's outspoken. He says whatever the hell he wants and he will admit that this country is at war against Islam. He's a very entertaining speaker. Don't you just think anytime Donald Trump gives a speech you'd be a lot more excited to hear what he is talking about than Hillary Clinton? I mean, come on man," Daoud said on that call.

The government's psychologist says Daoud is competent to face trial and that the accused terrorist has extraordinary beliefs, but that that doesn't make him paranoid or delusional.
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