Nearly six years after his arrest, a Hillside man has finally been declared fit to stand trial on terrorism charges alleging he tried to detonate a bomb outside a Loop bar.
Adel Daoud, now 24, was sent to a mental health facility in North Carolina in 2016 after U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman sided with Daoud’s attorneys and found him incompetent to stand trial.
After six months of treatment, a government psychiatrist declared Daoud rehabilitated last year, but Daoud’s lawyers again objected, saying lingering issues still remained.
At a brief hearing Monday, both sides agreed that Daoud was stable enough to go to trial as long as he remained on his prescribed psychotropic medications. A trial date could be set at the next status hearing in April.
Coleman’s ruling that Daoud was incompetent came after he made bizarre statements accusing the judge, prosecutors and even his own attorneys of being members of a secret society known as the Illuminati. He also called Coleman a reptilian overlord and claimed that he was being targeted as a Muslim.
Coleman ruled at the time that Daoud clearly had a delusional disorder and was unable to rationally understand the proceedings or assist his lawyers.She also noted his mental state had deteriorated in jail, especially after a cellmate committed suicide.
“It appears that his belief in the Illuminati, the Freemasons and lizard people is sincere and escalating,” Coleman said at the time.
Daoud was 17 when he came under FBI scrutiny in 2011 after posting messages online about killing Americans, according to court records.
FBI analysts posing as terrorists exchanged messages with Daoud and eventually got him to meet with an undercover agent, who was described as a “cousin” interested in waging jihad, according to the charges. Over several months, Daoud and the agent met several times in the Chicago area to discuss potential targets for an attack, the charges allege.
In one meeting in Villa Park in August 2012, Daoud allegedly told the agent he wanted to maximize the carnage so he would feel like he “accomplished something.”
“If it’s only like five, 10 people, I’m not gonna feel that good,” the charges quoted Daoud as saying. “I wanted something that’s … massive. I want something that’s gonna make it in the news like tonight.”
The FBI arrested Daoud in September 2012 as he stood in a Loop alley, moments after punching the trigger of a fake car bomb, authorities said.
Since his arrest, he also has been indicted on charges of soliciting the murder of the undercover FBI agent and attacking a fellow inmate at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in May 2015.