Federal prosecutors to appeal wannabe bomber’s 16-year prison sentence

“This is a cruel, wrong-headed and stupid decision,” Adel Daoud’s attorney said in reaction to the move.

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Adel Daoud

U.S. Marshal’s office

Federal prosecutors are taking the unusual step of appealing the 16-year prison sentence handed last month to a Hillside man who in September 2012 tried to set off a 1,000-pound car bomb in the Loop, according to a notice filed Wednesday.

The move signals a new chapter in the long-running legal odyssey of Adel Daoud. Now 25, Daoud was 18 when he was first arrested at the end of a months-long FBI investigation that involved an undercover agent.

After his arrest, Daoud enlisted a fellow inmate in an attempt to have the undercover agent killed. In 2015, he also attacked another inmate who had taunted him with a drawing of the prophet Muhammad. The attack left the victim covered in blood.

Daoud’s attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, said Wednesday the decision to appeal the sentence was “tone deaf.”

“This is a cruel, wrong-headed and stupid decision,” Durkin said, “and it is nothing more than the U.S. Attorney’s Office protecting itself and the FBI from the decisions it made in the investigation and prosecution of this case.”

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman sentenced Daoud last month to 16 years in prison, agreeing that Daoud was a socially awkward, impressionable teenager when he crossed paths with the FBI. She noted his “high-pitched giggle” in taped conversations with the undercover agent, and the fact that the teenager used words like “fudge” and “mothercracker” in place of profanities.

After the sentencing, Durkin said, “this gives him a life. We can’t ask for anything more than that. This is a terrific result.”

He added, “if the government had its way he would not have a life.”

Prosecutors said Daoud set out to commit mass murder in 2012, using a bomb that reeked of gasoline and was filled with wiring and “bags and bags of fertilizer.” It turned out to be inert and created by the FBI, but the feds say it should have scared the teenager. Instead, they said Daoud got excited.

“He believed he was fulfilling his mission for God,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas said as he argued Daoud should be locked up for four decades.

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