CHICAGO (CBS) — Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said Tuesday that the recent arrest of a Muslim teenager from Hillside for allegedly plotting to detonate a car bomb outside a downtown bar proves his point about radical Islam is a real threat that exists in the Chicago suburbs.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports 18-year-old Adel Daoud is accused of trying to set off what he thought was a car bomb outside a downtown tavern on Friday.
Walsh said the alleged plot is just the kind of thing he’s been afraid of.
“It is a threat. I sit on the Homeland Security Committee. We’ve held four hearings in two years on the threat of homegrown terrorism,” Walsh said.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
Last month, the 8th District Republican said at a town hall meeting that “there is a radical strain of Islam in this country – it’s not just over there – trying to kill Americans every week. It is a real threat, and it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was after 9/11.”
The congressman went on to claim that radical Islam had found its way into the Chicago suburbs, including parts of his district.
Those comments drew criticism from Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who is running against Walsh. She said Walsh’s comments proved “why he is not fit to hold political office.”
In light of Daoud’s arrest, Walsh said he feels vindicated.
“I’ve been very disappointed in Tammy Duckworth, because she sort of wants to score political points, and said that the fact that … I brought this issue up is reckless. I hope now that she’s been reminded that this is a serious threat,” he said. “We know this is going on in towns big and small throughout the country. And here we’ve got a young man who belonged to worship at a mosque in Villa Park; in, you know, the 8th District.”
Daoud’s attorney has said his client is just an immature teenager, and has called the case against him “fishy.”
“This is not the first case of this nature I’ve had,” Defense attorney Tom Durkin said. “I’ve had several of them. I was involved in a 9-11 case in Guantanamo. I know terrorism cases. This doesn’t smell like a terrorism case. It smells like there’s something wrong with this case.”
Durkin was asked if he meant Daoud was entrapped, to which he replied: “No, don’t put words in my mouth.”
“I’ve had 18-year-olds in my house before and they’re pretty impressionable,” he continued. “Is this the case? I don’t know. But I’m suspicious.”
He said if the government is to be believed, it sounds like Daoud was on the Internet talking nonsense.