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The FBI thwarted an attempted terrorist bombing in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square moments before the city's annual tree-lighting Friday night, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia and resident of Corvallis, was arrested on accusations of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the Justice Department announced.
According to a criminal complaint signed in the District of Oregon, Mohamud was arrested by the FBI and Portland Police Bureau at 5:40 p.m. Friday after he tried to detonate what he through to be an explosives-laden van that was parked near the tree lighting ceremony in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square.
"During this meeting, Mohamud explained how he had been thinking of committing some form of violent jihad since the age of 15," the affidavit says. "Mohamud then told (the FBI operatives) that he had identified a potential target for a bomb: the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square on Nov. 26, 2010."
The FBI operatives cautioned Mohamud several times about the seriousness of his plan, noting that there would be many people, including children, at the event, and that Mohamud could abandon his plans at any time with no shame.
"You know there's going to be a lot of children there?" an FBI operative asked Mohamud. "You know there are gonna be a lot of children there?"
Mohamud allegedly responded he was looking for a "huge mass that will ... be attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays."
Mohamud dismissed concerns about law enforcement, explaining that, " ... It's in Oregon; and Oregon, like, you know, nobody ever thinks about," according to the affidavit.
Originally posted by LestatG
Thanks, what caught my attention was the presenter stated that the FBI gave him the inert device. The way he stated it though, suggested that they told him to go and do it, that they were the masterminds rather than the other way around.