An 18-year-old suburban Chicago man, who the authorities say was enamored with Osama bin Laden and intent on killing Americans, has been arrested after attempting to detonate what he thought was a car bomb outside a Chicago bar, officials said Saturday.
There was never any danger that the suspect, Adel Daoud, would actually detonate a bomb. The plot, which ended with Mr. Daoud’s arrest on Friday, was proposed by undercover F.B.I. agents posing as extremists, according to a statement released by the United States attorney’s office in the Northern District of Illinois.
Mr. Daoud, a United States citizen who lives in Hillside, Ill., on the outskirts of Chicago, has been under surveillance for months, and in multiple conversations with agents expressed a desire to kill on a mass scale as revenge for what he believed was the persecution of Muslims by the United States, according to court papers.\
Mr. Daoud’s older brother, Amr, 21, said he and his family were surprised by the arrest. He described his brother as a devout Muslim who would go to mosque for prayers with their father every day at 4 a.m. He said that their parents had come to the United States from Egypt, but that neither they nor his two sisters were as religious.
“He’s a very peaceful guy; I never even knew him to be violent,” said Amr Daoud, a cigar salesman. “One time he got punched in school and he didn’t do anything. He’s a very passive person.”
About 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Mr. Daoud met with the undercover agent in Villa Park, another Chicago suburb, and they drove together to downtown Chicago, the statement said. During the drive, Mr. Daoud prayed that the attack would cause destruction and leave many people dead, according to the statement.
Once in Chicago, Mr. Daoud and the agent changed vehicles, taking a Jeep containing the fake explosive device and parking it in front of a downtown bar, officials said. Mr. Daoud then walked about a block into an alley, where he tried to activate the fake bomb by pressing a triggering mechanism. He was then arrested.