CHICAGO - Tom Durkin, the attorney Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk nominated for federal judge, is not the same as Thomas Anthony Durkin, the attorney defending the Chicago would-be teen terrorist Adel Daoud.
When the 18 year old Muslim radical Adel Daoud was arraigned this past Monday morning after his arrest for plotting to bomb a downtown Chicago bar, politically-attentive ears perked up when Daoud's defense attorney Thomas Durkin lambasted the FBI's investigation.
“Never in my career have I seen the FBI go to this length with respect to trying to set someone up,” said the veteran attorney, who has represented other terrorism suspects. “This case stinks.”
But federal judge nominee Thomas M. Durkin is not to be confused with the terrorist defense attorney Thomas Anthony Durkin.
The senators' federal judge nominee Thomas M. Durkin is a partner at Mayer Brown LLP specializing in white collar criminal defense. He was the Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee for nearly a decade. Prior to joining the firm as a partner in 1993, Durkin served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois for over a decade. During that time, he served in numerous leadership positions, including Chief of the Special Prosecutions Division, Chief of the Criminal Receiving and Appellate Division, and First Assistant United States Attorney.
Daoud's attorney Thomas Anthony Durkin partners with his wife Janis Roberts in a Chicago defense firm. Durkin argued earlier this week that "the Hillside resident was a misguided teen led into the ruse by undercover FBI agents and operatives who had built the fake bomb and given him the trigger." Thursday, federal prosecutors pushed back on those charges, saying Daoud was predisposed to the violence he attempted to commit on the busy Chicago corner.
Durkin has represented other accused terrorists such as Raja Lahrasib Khan, who was charged in 2012 with material support for terrorism in the Northern District of Illinois in a highly publicized case in which a sentence of seven-and-a-half years was obtained when the Federal Sentencing Guidelines called for a sentence of up to thirty years.
Thomas Anthony Durkin was counsel, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City, for two detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who are now released: Walid Ali, from the Sudan, and Abdul Raham Houari, from Algeria.
Also Durkin was co-counsel for the Global Relief Foundation, Inc., of Bridgeview, Illinois, one of the Islamic charities whose assets were blocked after September 11, 2001, under provisions of the U.S. PATRIOT Act by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.