Adel Daoud, the resident of the Chicago suburb of Hillside, was arrested Friday night in an undercover operation in which agents posing as terrorists provided him with a phony car bomb, NPR reports.
“About 7:15 p.m. yesterday, Daoud met the undercover agent in Villa Park and they drove to downtown Chicago,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
“During the drive, Daoud led the undercover agent in a prayer that Daoud and the agent succeed in their attack, kill many people, and cause destruction. They entered a parking lot where a Jeep containing the purported explosive device was parked.”
The reports also reads: “Daoud then drove the Jeep out of the parking lot and parked the vehicle in front of a bar in downtown Chicago, which was the target that he had previously selected.”
“According to the affidavit, Daoud exited the vehicle and walked to an alley approximately a block away, and in the presence of the undercover agent,attempted to detonate the device by pressing the triggering mechanism. He was then arrested.”
Authorities are not revealing the name of the Chicago bar where the operation was held, but said the bar was never in any danger.
The 18-year-old offender was charged in court Saturday with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to damage and destroy a building with an explosive, writes NBC News.
Someone who answered a call to Daoud’s home on Saturday who named herself as Hiba and told reporters that she was Daoud’s sister declined to discuss Daoud, the family or the arrest.
“We don’t even know anything. We don’t know that much. We know as little as you do,” she said. “They’re just accusations. We’d like to be left alone.”
According to federal prosecutors, the FBI began monitoring the youngster in June after he posted material online about “violent jihad” and the killing of Americans.
The affidavit claims that the teen was active in jihadist Internet forums and was accessing articles written by Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born radical cleric who became a key figure in the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
A few months ago, one of the FBI undercover agents reported of a purported cousin, who was identified as an operational terrorist living in New York, to Daoud.
Throughout the summer, the teenager allegedly made a list of 29 potential targets, including military recruiting centers, bars, malls and Chicago tourist attractions, ABC News says.
Prosecutors revealed to reporters that the 18-year-old potential terrorist was offered several chances to change his mind and walk away from the plot.
In his communications with one of the FBI undercover agents about possible targets, Daoud allegedly shared his plans to carry out an attack that would kill a large number of people.
“I wanted something that’s … massive; I want something that’s gonna make it in the news,” he wrote. “I want to get to like, for me I want to get the most evil place, but I want to get a more populated place.”