Potential terrorist targets included theaters, malls, nightclubs throughout Chicago area

Defense lawyers attacked the FBI’s tactics Tuesday during a hearing on how long a west suburban terrorist should spend in prison.

Adel Daoud is being sentenced this week for plotting to bomb a Chicago nightclub.

The hearing also included lists of other targets Daoud considered in Chicago and the suburbs.

The undercover FBI agent who helped bust Daoud testified Tuesday and showed off Daoud's own handwritten list of potential bombing targets. It included the AMC River East Theaters, the Music Box Theater, a South Side armory, and the River City complex in the South Loop. Daoud's defense attorney says Daoud, then just 17-years-old, was led every step of the way by the FBI.

“We think the government took advantage of his immaturity and naivety and unstable mental state and offered an opportunity for him that was gargantuan in size,” said defense attorney Thomas A. Durkin.

Daoud eventually settled on the Cactus Bar and Grill. He was arrested in an FBI sting after pushing a detonator button that he thought would trigger a car bomb, blowing up an entire block. He essentially pleaded no contest to terrorism charges, and since there was no trial, prosecutors have used his sentencing hearing to lay out the case against him.

Prosecutors are recommending a 40-year sentence for Daoud. His lawyers say he's already been in custody almost seven years, and that should be enough.

Defense attorneys say Daoud was a fragile, mentally unstable teenager. They point to statements like those where the Hillside man recommended using flying cars, instead of flying planes, for terrorist attacks.

“There were other options available to the government, they chose to continue to escalate it and turn it into a huge, front page headline grabbing case,” Durkin said.