Represented Adel Daoud, a defendant charged with attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction in downtown Chicago. In January 2014, Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman of the Northern District of Illinois issued an order permitting defense counsel to review the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) materials in the case. This order represented the first time in the history of FISA that such relief was granted.
“His lawyers have for years argued that federal authorities tend to snare immature and psychologically vulnerable young men like Daoud in stings and not necessarily committed would-be terrorists. Defense attorneys in other U.S. terrorism cases have made similar allegations.
Daoud took the stand at two days of competency hearings last week, against his attorney Thomas Durkin’s advice, sometimes giggling and doing impersonations. Durkin said it would be impossible to defend someone who believes his attorneys are in on an Illuminati conspiracy.”
Judge Rules Illinois Terrorism Suspect Mentally Unfit for Trial
NBC 5 Chicago, August 25, 2016
“’I don’t believe the answer is warehousing them for the rest of their life in a penitentiary,’ said Thomas Durkin, Daoud’s attorney.
Durkin has kept him out of the lockup for at least the next three months. Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman found Thursday the terror suspect isn’t fit for trial and needs psychiatric help. In her written order, Judge Coleman noted that ‘Daoud states he believes the justice system is controlled by the Illuminati, a secret ruling class, who he repeatedly describes as reptiles in disguise… It appears his belief in the Illuminati, Freemasons and lizard people is sincere and escalating.’”
Terror Suspect’s Father: ‘My Son Should Be Freed’
ABC 7 Chicago, August 25, 2016
“One of Daoud’s lawyers, Thomas Anthony Durkin, said another hearing will be held to see whether mental health treatment has improved Daoud’s condition enough to allow him to stand trial.
‘I’m also a lot less worried about him today than I was yesterday,’ Durkin said.
Durkin said the judge’s ruling draws an important distinction between delusional beliefs and radical religious beliefs. He also said the U.S. government has a tendency to overreach in pursuing terrorism-related cases.”
Man accused of trying to detonate bomb in Loop mentally unfit for trial: judge
Patrick M. O’Connell, Tribune, August 25, 2016
Defense in Loop bomb plot case to get secret terror court filings
Jason Meisner, Tribune, January 29, 2014
Chicago Bomb-Sting Defense Lawyer Can See FISA Papers
Andrew Harris and Steven Church, Bloomberg, January 30, 2014
Chicago federal court case raises questions about NSA surveillance
Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, June 21, 2013