The arrest on Friday night (local time) of Adel Daoud, a US citizen, marked the end of an undercover sting operation.
During the operation 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 on 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.
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.
Daoud is scheduled to appear in federal court on Monday for a preliminary hearing.