Suspect in Chicago car-bomb plot pleads not guilty

By the Associated Press | October 11, 2012 | 6:33 PM EDT

Mona Daoud, right, looks at her husband Ahmed as he fights back tears after responding to a question about their son, Adel Daoud, in the federal courthouse lobby Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Chicago. Adel Daoud pleaded not guilty on federal terrorism charges for allegedly trying to set off what he thought was a car bomb in downtown Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — A young man accused of trying to set off what he thought was a car bomb outside a Chicago bar has pleaded not guilty to terrorism-related charges.

Adel Daoud of Hillside, a Chicago suburb, was arrested following a sting operation last month.

Prosecutors say he told undercover agents he believed the U.S. was at war with Muslims, but Daoud's attorney says the plot was the agents' idea.

During his arrangement Thursday, the 19-year-old joked with the judge, telling her the maximum life prison sentence he faced couldn't be longer.

Asked how he pleaded, the bushy-haired Daoud politely said: "Not guilty."

Dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, Daoud smiled and waved at his family during the hearing. His teary-eyed father, Ahmed Daoud, later told reporters his son is a good kid.