(Reuters) - A man accused of trying to set off a car bomb in Chicago was indicted on Thursday in a murder-for-hire plot designed to kill an undercover FBI agent who was going to testify against him.
Adel Daoud, 19, a U.S. citizen living in the Chicago suburb of Hillside, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count each of solicitation of murder, murder-for-hire, and obstruction of justice.
Daoud learned after his September arrest that the individual who posed as a terrorist from New York and supplied him with what he believed to be explosives was an undercover FBI agent, according to the indictment. The charges allege that Daoud wanted the agent dead to prevent him from testifying in court, prosecutors said.
Daoud pleaded not guilty last year to one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and one count of attempt to damage and destroy a building by means of an explosive.
According to an FBI affidavit, Daoud used email accounts in 2011 to gather and send materials “relating to violent jihad and the killing of Americans.”
Undercover FBI employees began corresponding with Daoud in May 2012 and later provided Daoud with a Jeep full of what Daoud believed to be explosives. He was arrested after trying to detonate it outside a downtown bar located near the Chicago Board of Trade building, authorities said.
Daoud’s trial on the weapons charge has been set for April 7, 2014. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
The maximum penalty on the murder solicitation count is 20 years in prison; murder-for-hire carries up to 10 years in prison; and the obstruction of justice is punishable by up to 30 years behind bars.
Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Stacey Joyce