Daoud, one of four children, graduated from the Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park this year, Durkin said. The teen was considering enrolling in college to study Arabic, and his family was unaware of any violent tendencies, the lawyer said.
His father struggled for words Monday after court to describe the pain he was feeling.
"If you open my heart, you can't see," he said, his voice breaking.
Online and in email exchanges with undercover FBI operatives, Daoud talked of wanting to engage in terrorism here and abroad. He allegedly drew up a list of 29 targets for an undercover agent, including bars, malls and military recruiting centers before settling on the downtown location.
"I wanted something that's … massive; I want something that's gonna make it in the news like tonight," he was alleged to say in one recorded conversation.
Later, Daoud provided the name of the targeted bar and conducted surveillance on it, snapping photographs of the scene, authorities said. The FBI placed a phony bomb in the back of a Jeep parked in a lot near the bar. Just before 8 p.m. Friday, Daoud allegedly parked the Jeep in front of the bar, walked to an alley about a block away and tried to detonate the device by pressing a triggering mechanism.
In his earlier emails, Daoud wrote about how he was ignoring warnings from two different sheiks at his mosque to stop his talk of violence, according to prosecutors.
"Lol I will be the opposite," the teen allegedly wrote in one exchange about his meetings with one sheik.
One meeting included his father, who on Monday said he believed his son had been dissuaded from any violent ideas.
In those months that he allegedly was advocating violent jihad and seeking to commit terrorism against the U.S., Daoud also was active on an online petition website, signing on to a wide range of seemingly everyday causes from removing cancer-causing materials from laundry detergent to paying effective teachers what they deserved.
Tribune reporters Stacy St. Clair, Erin Meyer and Hal Dardick contributed.