Chicago Teen May Be Test Case on US Surveillance

Accused bomb plotter might serve as constitutional challenge to expanded powers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2013 9:44 AM CDT
Chicago Teen May Be Test Case on US Surveillance
This undated photo provided by the U.S. Marshal's office shows Adel Daoud, of Hillside, Ill.   (AP Photo/U.S. Marshal's office, File)

Adel Daoud is a Chicago 19-year-old accused by the feds of trying to detonate a bomb outside a Chicago bar in 2012. His case, however, could serve as the first constitutional challenge to the government's sweeping surveillance techniques, reports the Washington Post. In a court filing yesterday, attorneys for the terror suspect demanded to know whether federal authorities used their expanded powers under a 2008 amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to nab him. “Whenever it is good for the government to brag about its success, it speaks loudly and publicly,” they wrote, as per the Chicago Tribune. "When a criminal defendant’s constitutional rights are at stake, however, it quickly and unequivocally clams up under the guise of State Secrets.”

Federal prosecutors say they're not obligated to say whether they used the law, and a judge will have the final say, reports WLS-TV. So did they use it? Here's a hint: Last year, when the Senate was debating whether to renew the 2008 law—it's formally known as the FISA Amendments Act—Dianne Feinstein made her case in favor by asserting that it had helped stop "a plot to bomb a downtown Chicago bar." If the judge rules that the government must acknowledge it used the FAA, Daoud's attorney's would then be able to challenge its constitutionality. (Read more Adel Daoud stories.)

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