(Reuters) - A U.S. judge ruled on Thursday that a Chicago-area man was mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges he tried to set off what he thought was a car bomb outside a bar.


The suspect, Adel Daoud of Hillside, Illinois, sincerely believes that his lawyers are Freemasons, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said.


Daoud, 22, also believes the judicial system "is controlled by the Illuminati, a secret ruling class, who he repeatedly describes as reptiles in disguise," she said.


"The government has not shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is competent to stand trial," Coleman wrote in her decision.


A lawyer for Daoud could not be reached for immediate comment.


Federal agents arrested Daoud in 2012 in a sting operation after he placed what he thought was a bomb in a Jeep outside a downtown Chicago bar. The explosives were inert and supplied by undercover officers.

Since the suicide of his cellmate in January, Daoud has believed that the U.S. government is likely to execute him regardless of the outcome of a trial, Coleman said. Daoud also faces charges of assaulting a fellow inmate.

She ordered him to undergo psychiatric treatment that may result in him being found fit to stand trial as scheduled in February.

Daoud was a friend of Abdella Ahmed Tounisi, of Aurora, Illinois, who pleaded guilty in August 2015 to a charge that he traveled overseas to join an al Qaeda-linked group in Syria.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Tom Brown)