Feds: Alleged terrorist was prolific user of Yahoo Answers
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter June 26, 2014 7:20PM
Adel Daoud | photo from U.S. Marshal's office
Updated: July 28, 2014 1:02PM
He adopted the username “AdeL” and he always seemed to be online.
One minute he was at his computer, typing out a lengthy answer to the question “Muslims: Whom do you hate the most, Jews, Christians, or atheists?”
The next, he was writing a facetious response to the teaser, “How do I stop my dog from eating poop?”
But in real life “AdeL” was more than just one of the most prolific users of the Yahoo Answers website back in 2011, according to FBI documents filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals this week.
He was Adel Daoud, a suburban wannabe terrorist who would go on to be arrested for a massive downtown bomb plot in Sept. 2012, the feds say.
Today, Daoud, 20, of Hillside, remains locked up, awaiting trial at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, just a stone’s throw from the two South Loop bars he allegedly thought he’d destroy when he pressed a triggering button rigged to a dummy FBI bomb.
The revelation that the feds believe he used the username “AdeL” on Yahoo opens up a digital treasure trove of nearly 1,500 online posts Daoud allegedly made — offering a rare peek inside the mind of an alleged teenage terrorist.
Ironically, given that Daoud’s case has become an important test of the government’s controversial electronic spying program, he allegedly made the posts using his own first name on a public website where anyone can pose questions for strangers to answer.
Some are chilling, and seem to support the government’s claims that Daoud is a dangerous would-be martyr who tried to have the FBI agent who caught him assassinated.
They include a post in which “AdeL” explains the twisted thinking behind his ranking of the belief systems he most hates.
“Hmm. WELL on a personal scale i hate Shiites, Christians, Atheists and then Jews,” he typed.
“I hate their guts,” he wrote of Shiite Muslims.
“Let me watch them be thrown in Hell i would enjoy that very much,” he wrote of Christians, adding he had only met two Jewish people who he found to be “nice people.”
In other Yahoo Answers posts, he shared a video of what he called “TERRORIST MUSIC!” alongside a photo of a masked gunman.
“Even if you don’t like Muslims, Islam, terrorists, and so on and so forth LISTEN TO THIS,” he wrote.
And in a third post — one prosecutors say proves he was seriously thinking about a rationalization for killing Americans — he asked other Yahoo users “What percentage of Americans support the military?”
But other posts “AdeL” wrote are more comic, and seem to fit with the giggling, childish, big-haired joker who has seemed oblivious during court appearances to the seriousness of the charges he faces.
In one he suggests a dog owner who has a problem with his two dogs eating their feces do something disgusting “and make both of them watch. HOPE THIS HELPS!”
In another, he chuckles along at a post by a writer who claims to find Dora the Explorer “so hot.”
The most damaging online evidence against Daoud, however, may be in a private web chat in which he allegedly said he sought martyrdom, had researched how to make a bomb and would do so “if he could find the materials.”
Daoud’s attorney Thomas Durkin did not return calls seeking comment Thursday. But he argued in a court filing this week that Daoud’s Internet use was a protected “First Amendment activity.”
Durkin has been fighting — so far unsuccessfully — to uncover secret evidence to support his suspicion that Daoud was unconstitutionally targeted for a sting operation by the feds.
The 7th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals last week said that forcing prosecutors to turn over classified surveillance evidence to Durkin could damage national security.