CHICAGO, IL – A surveillance team with the Department of Homeland Security reports that they wish Ibrahim Dawud, a local Arab-American whom the department is currently surveilling, would just get off his ass and hatch a terrorist plot already.
Special Agent in Charge Michael Hunter, who heads the team from ICE Homeland Security Investigations, described how his initial excitement over identifying the 43-year old resident of Chicago as an extremist gradually turned into boredom, then apathy as numerous wiretaps, surveillance, and undercover informants failed to turn up the slightest hint of terrorist activity, even after secretly collecting his fingerprints.
"We know he's a bad guy, but so far we've spent about five hundred thousand dollars just watching him sit around doing nothing," said Hunter. "Those are ICE funds we could have easily used to keep illegal immigrant children out of our schools, or even transferred to the TSA for improved anal cavity searches."
According to Hunter, Dawud has missed numerous opportunities to conduct not only terrorist attacks, but also terrorist training, financing, networking, support, or any other type of extremist activity. In fact, after eight months of surveillance all Hunter has concluded is that Dawud is either the most cunning terrorist in history or the laziest.
"We tried having someone walk into his office and make a bunch of extremist statements," Hunter said, referring to the first of seven failed sting operations against Dawud. "He actually kicked him out, obviously in an attempt to throw us off his trail." Hunter added that in hindsight he wished he had arrested Dawud on the spot for obstructing a federal agent in the course of his official duties.
He briefly became hopeful when Dawud was observed taking pictures of famous landmarks, but federal prosecutors reluctantly concluded the pictures were part of what they called "a family vacation." Still, the incident only convinced Hunter to double-down in his efforts.
"After that we went to his kids' school and convinced several teachers to interrogate them about what's going on in the family home," Hunter said. "Still nothing! Maybe he's waiting for Ramadan or Kwanzaa."
Bringing up his unit's round-the-clock drone surveillance of Dawud's house, Hunter grew exasperated watching him operate his backyard grill for the better part of an hour.
"Look at him, pretending like he doesn't know we're watching. He's even got several propane tanks for his grill. Why can't he just wire up a detonator to one of them? Crap, does he even know how?" he asked, before one of his assistants assured him it was probably in the Koran somewhere.
Dawud, a professor at the Chicago Institute of Technology who was born and raised in Illinois, was first identified as having extremist connections in 2007 after his five-year old daughter Miriam was placed on a No-Fly list.
In the course of that investigation DHS discovered that several of his former classmates were in the Muslim Brotherhood in his parents' homeland of Egypt. Agents were also shocked to find that he had traveled to the Middle East in 1983, 1999, and 2005 on some type of "religious pilgrimage."
However, Dawud did not become an official target until an unauthorized wiretap in a local kebab restaurant overheard him making extremist statements that America "should just get the fuck out of the Middle East," along with grumbling about getting hassled at airport security.
Hunter admitted as a last resort he might be able to charge Dawud with storing pornography on a government laptop. Failing that, he could always try hiring Chris Hansen and his team of elite entrapment specialists from "To Catch a Predator", or bugging the church that Dawud, a Coptic Christian, regularly attends.