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Teen held in Chicago ‘jihad’ car bomb plot

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FBI agents have arrested and charged a US teen hoping to engage in “violent jihad” after he tried to detonate a would-be car bomb outside a bar in downtown Chicago, officials said.

Friday night’s arrest of Adel Daoud, an American, marked the end of an undercover sting operation during which agents provided him with a fake bomb that he attempted to set off shortly before he was detained, the US Attorney’s Office in Chicago said in a statement.

Daoud, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Hillside, appeared before a judge Saturday and was charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and another count of attempting to destroy a building by means of an explosive.

According to an affidavit in the case, two undercover FBI agents contacted Daoud around May in response to material he posted online and began exchanging messages with him.

“During these communications, Daoud expressed an interest in engaging in violent jihad, either in the United States or overseas, referred to his ongoing efforts to recruit other individuals to engage in violent jihad and mentioned that he had discussed plans for an attack with ‘trusted brothers,'” read the affidavit.

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From late May to mid-June, Daoud sought guidance on whether to carry out a terrorist attack in the United States, the affidavit said, and “confirmed his belief in the propriety of killing Americans in a terrorist attack.” He then began looking for online resources on how to carry out an attack.

On July 17, Daoud met with an undercover FBI agent introduced to him as a purported cousin of one of the other agents and an “operational terrorist.”

During the roughly two-hour gathering, which was recorded, Daoud allegedly said that he wanted to “do something (an attack) here (in the United States) at the same time,” according to the affidavit.

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At a subsequent meeting in early August, the pair discussed “plans to carry out an attack in the Chicago area with a vehicle containing explosives,” the document added.

During that gathering, Daoud allegedly showed the undercover agent four handwritten pages from a notebook that listed about 29 potential targets, including military recruiting centers, bars, malls and other tourist attractions in and around Chicago.

Other meetings followed, interspersed by electronic communications.

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During one such exchange, Daoud said he had been debating the topic of jihad with someone at his mosque and that the conversation was reported to a religious leader who proceeded to “yell” at them.

Daoud’s father was also informed of the incident and, according to the affidavit, told his son to “stop talking about these topics.”

Still, Daoud pressed on with his plan. When he first saw the phony bomb, inside a green Jeep Cherokee hidden in a storage unit, “Daoud expressed excitement about the device” adding that he hoped many people would be killed in the attack, the affidavit said.

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On Friday, the day of the attempted bomb plot, Daoud led a prayer with the undercover agent on their way to downtown Chicago that called for the attack to be successful, “kill many people and cause destruction.”

Around 8:00 pm (0100 GMT Saturday), Daoud drove the Jeep containing the fake bomb — which had been left in a parking lot — in front of an unnamed bar in downtown Chicago.

From an alley about a block away, he attempted to detonate the device and was subsequently taken into custody by the FBI.

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Daoud is scheduled to appear in federal court Monday for a preliminary hearing.

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Republicans in Congress are angry about Trump’s latest racist comments — but not because they’re racist

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There can be no denying that amid the firestorm from President Donald Trump tweeting that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) should "go back where they came from," Republicans in Congress are upset.

However, as many of them make clear in conversation with reporters, the fact that these comments were racist is not the main reason they are angry at the president. Rather, they are frustrated that his comments are hogging the news cycle, which leaves them incapable of discussing their agenda — and of criticizing the agenda of the Democratic representatives he targeted.

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Lara Trump says the president is the real victim: He ‘gave up his entire life’ to be president

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Campaign advisor Lara Trump defended her father-in-law saying that he's the real victim in this exchange between four Congresswomen of color. Then she repeated that these women can "leave" the country.

Trump began the fight Sunday when he told four Congresswomen that if they didn't like what was happening in the United States Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." The women are all citizens and all but one was born in the United States.

"The reality is everything he says, of course, was taken and misconstrued," she said, alleging Trump's statements were taken out of context. You can read them below:

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George Conway declares ‘Trump is a racist president’ in brutal Washington Post column

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Prominent Republican attorney George Conway blasted President Donald Trump in an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Monday evening.

Conway explained how he avoided thinking of Trump as a racist, despite the president's actions.

"No, I thought, President Trump was boorish, dim-witted, inarticulate, incoherent, narcissistic and insensitive. He’s a pathetic bully but an equal-opportunity bully — in his uniquely crass and crude manner, he’ll attack anyone he thinks is critical of him. No matter how much I found him ultimately unfit, I gave still him the benefit of the doubt about being a racist. No matter how much I came to dislike him, I didn’t want to think that the president of the United States is a racial bigot," he explained.

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