CHICAGO (CN) — A terrorism suspect accused of planning to bomb downtown Chicago was deemed incompetent to stand trial Thursday based on his belief that the Illuminati, or “reptiles in disguise,” control the justice system.
Adel Daoud, a U.S. citizen, was 17 when he allegedly took the bait offered by undercover FBI agents posing as terrorists, who contacted him online about committing violent jihad attacks in the United States.
His 2012 indictment says one of these FBI correspondents put Daoud in touch with a “cousin,” a man Daoud allegedly believed was a radical jihadist when they met in person six times.
Federal prosecutors say this undercover agent supplied Daoud with a fake bomb to destroy the target of his choice, and watched as Daoud unsuccessfully tried to detonate it inside the Jeep he parked in front of a bar in downtown Chicago. The agent immediately arrested Daoud.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Coleman struck Daoud’s scheduled trial date for a third time Thursday, finding him incompetent to stand trial based on psychiatric evaluations as well as his in-court behavior.
“This court has no doubt as to Daoud’s factual understanding of the proceedings against him,” Coleman said, noting his attentive and responsive demeanor. “However, his rational understanding of the proceedings is significantly undermined by his pervasive belief that the court and the prosecution are members of the Illuminati and that his attorneys are Freemasons.”
Daoud believes the entire justice system is controlled by the Illuminati, whom he describes as “reptiles in disguise,” and believes he will be executed regardless of the outcome of his case, according to court records.
“From Daoud’s own testimony as well as his letters to the court, it appears that his belief in the Illuminati, Freemasons and lizard people is sincere and escalating,” Coleman wrote in a four-page order.
The government’s expert doubted whether Daoud was sincere in his espoused beliefs in reptilian overlords, but declined to state that he was shamming.
“Undoubtedly, his lengthy pretrial incarceration, often spent in isolation and approaching its fourth year, coupled with the trauma of witnessing his cellmate’s attempted and then successful suicide, have only contributed to his mental issues,” Coleman said.
She ordered Daoud be placed in a psychiatric treatment facility for three months, at which point his competency may be revisited.
Daoud’s case attracted significant attention in 2014 when Coleman granted defense counsel access to the secret warrant applications that permitted FBI surveillance of their client.
Such a ruling was unprecedented, and was swiftly overturned by the Seventh Circuit.
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