Alleged wannabe bomber ‘delusional’ or feeling just fine?

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Adel Daoud | U.S. Marshal’s office photo via AP

Adel Daoud grinned broadly, stifled a giggle and even did impersonations on the witness stand Friday — a little like a game show contestant asked to share an embarrassing personal tidbit.

A few feet away, his weary-looking attorney — who’d tried mightily to avoid having his client testify — asked one somber question after another, in an effort to prove the accused would-be terrorist isn’t competent to stand trial.

For the better part of an hour in U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman’s courtroom, Daoud, 22, insisted his mind is working just fine.

“Since I got arrested, I consider myself to be in as [good] a mental state as I’ve been in my life,” said Daoud, with a grin on his bearded face.

Daoud, who has been locked up in the Metropolitan Correctional Center for nearly four years, allegedly plotted a “massive” jihadist attack downtown. As part of that plot, he allegedly pushed the trigger on a fake car bomb given to him by an undercover federal agent in September 2012.

His attorneys say Daoud is clinically delusional. They say they can’t work with a man who believes the entire court system, including his own attorneys, are part of a vast conspiracy that will likely lead to Daoud’s beheading.

“Would someone please tell me how I’m supposed to counsel someone who believes you are part of the Illuminati,” said Daoud’s lead attorney, Thomas Durkin, referring to the judge, “and that I might be part of the Illuminati?”

Prosecutors argue that Daoud doesn’t reach the legal threshold for being incompetent. On Friday, they pointed, in part, to Daoud’s abilities on the witness stand, during which he appeared to follow most of the judge’s guidelines.

Under questioning from Durkin, Daoud — shackled and dressed in a bright orange jumpsuit — testified that the government had “kidnapped” him, that he was being held as a “hostage” and that he wouldn’t be in jail, but for his Muslim beliefs.

Durkin, put in the uncomfortable position of having to trip up his own client, reminded Daoud of his request, as part of a possible plea agreement, to be set free to fight overseas with the Free Syrian Army.

“To you, that is the most reasonable resolution?” Durkin asked.

A snickering Daoud replied that if the government thought he was intent on detonating explosives, then, “Send me a million miles away and you’ll never hear or see me again.”

At one point, when Coleman reminded Daoud not to ramble on the stand, he replied sheepishly, “My bad.”

A little later, Durkin asked Daoud if he truly believes his own attorney is part of the conspiracy against him. Daoud cocked his head. His eyebrows shot up.

“Yes, if not, then you’re directly corresponding and working with them against me,” Daoud said.

The grin vanished from Daoud’s face when he was asked about the death of one of his cellmates.

“It kind of messed me up,” Daoud said, denying it had made him mentally unstable. “I’ve known him for two years.”

When asked how he thought his cellmate had died, he said, “I believe he was potentially given drugs to push him to kill himself.”

When Durkin asked Daoud who was responsible for his cellmate’s death, he became quiet and said, “Do I have to answer that?” before replying, “The judge.”

Coleman is set to rule on Daoud’s competency Aug. 25.

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