A federal Judge has issued an unprecedented ruling in the case of Adel Daoud, a U.S. citizen arrested in an FBI sting after he attempted to detonate a (fake) car bomb outside of a Chicago club. “This finding is not made lightly,” U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman wrote, according to The Chicago Tribune, in her ruling that requires federal prosecutors to turn over materials presented to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court to Daoud’s defense that normally only the judge sees.
Around the time revelations from Edward Snowden about the extreme surveillance tactics of the NSA, federal prosecutors told the court that Daoud was targeted via traditional methods. According to The Huffington Post, defense attorneys suggest “authorities may have singled out Daoud only after surveillance data indicated he viewed the online Inspire magazine, produced by al-Qaida affiliates.”
Daoud’s defense team suggests that the undercover FBI agent pushed Daoud to carry out the fake attack. As a defense strategy it was flimsy at best. However, if it is revealed that Daoud was targeted because of NSA surveillance, his defense has a better option. Once they review the materials, they can move to have the evidence ruled inadmissible because it was collected in violation of Daoud’s constitutional rights, irony notwithstanding.
In September of 2012, Daoud allegedly posted messages about killing Americans and that was how the FBI found him. On September 14, 2012, Daoud and the undercover agent parked the car containing the fake bomb outside of two popular Chicago nightclubs. On the way there, Daoud even led the agent in a prayer, according to CNN, hoping they would “succeed in their attack, kill many people, and cause destruction.”
Federal prosecutors still have time to appeal the ruling before Daoud’s trial begins on April 7, but offered no comment on the ruling.