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Give lawyers access to secret court files on alleged terrorist, ACLU says

Adel Daoud | phofrom U.S. Marshal's office

Adel Daoud | photo from U.S. Marshal's office

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The American Civil Liberties Union is backing a federal judge’s decision to let alleged wannabe terrorist bomber Adel Daoud’s lawyers have unprecedented access to secret intelligence-court records.

Daoud, 20, is accused of trying to blow up a pair of neighboring South Loop bars in September 2012. He was arrested seconds after he pressed a button he believed would detonate a huge bomb, the feds say.

In a groundbreaking ruling earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman granted Daoud’s security-cleared lawyers access to evidence that federal investigators submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Prosecutors want to keep the evidence under wraps. They appealed Coleman’s decision to the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Appeals court, saying it violated legal precedent.

But on Friday the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation asked the Seventh Circuit to consider their arguments in support of Daoud.

In a court filing the ACLU and the EFF said there had been “worrisome revelations about inaccuracies that have plagued other FISA cases” and that there was “public controversy” surrounding Daoud’s case.

Daoud’s attorney, Thomas Durkin, alleges an impressionable and naive Daoud was egged on by federal agents. He hopes that, if he’s allowed to see it, the FISA court evidence will reveal why Daoud was initially targeted for investigation.


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