FBI Bomb Sting Nabs Oregon Teen

Update: Who's Mohamud? A rapping, teenage fitness guru.

Here's the FBI press release describing how Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, was set up and caught in an elaborate 6 month plan to set off a car bomb at a tree-lighting ceremony in Oregon. The FBI provided him with an inert device so the public wasn't in danger.

Apparently, Mohamud is not part of any group. He reached out (by e-mail)to a terrorist in Pakistan, who told him to contact someone else. Apparently, they weren't interested. The only response Mohamud got after that was from an FBI agent pretending to be an associate of the terrorist. [More....]

[I]n August 2009, Mohamud was in e-mail contact with an unindicted associate (UA1) overseas who is believed to be involved in terrorist activities. In December 2009, while UA1 was located in the northwest frontier province of Pakistan, Mohamud and UA1 discussed the possibility of Mohamud traveling to Pakistan to engage in violent jihad. UAI allegedly referred Mohamud to a second unindicted associate (UA2) overseas and provided Mohamud with a name and email address to facilitate the process.

In the months that followed, Mohamud allegedly made several unsuccessful attempts to contact UA2. Ultimately, an FBI undercover operative contacted Mohamud via e-mail in June 2010 under the guise of being an associate of UA1. Mohamud and the FBI undercover operative then agreed to meet in Portland in July 2010.

Everything that followed was a plan between the FBI and Mohamud. They gave him an inert device and when he dialed a phone number that would have set it off, he was arrested.

Mohamud now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

So there was no terror plot, except one hatched and incubated by the FBI, using a would-be surrogate they came across while intercepting internet chatter.

Teddy at Firedoglake writes:

How long are we going to let the cowboys shoot up our country with their false terror plots and operations that would go nowhere without their instigation, planning, and coercion? How long will we allow our own federal constabulary to justify its own recklessly inflated budget by permitting actions like this to develop, fester, and grow operational in our midst?

This is terror, pure and simple. State-sponsored terror. Big-splash terror designed to make people compliant and fearful, and grateful to their federal government — in a city which has not yet installed the Rapiscan p*rno-scanners at our airport. Someone needs to put an end to it.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Teenager+sting=waste of time & resources (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 02:13:17 PM EST
    But the U.S. government's anti-terror policies require these charades. While European and Middle Eastern governments rely on actual intelligence, ours creates terror plots to keep citizens on edge.

    So, what's next after this arrest? Will airline passengers wearing work-out/fitness clothing now be cavity searched?

    Shoephone, (none / 0) (#6)
    by Zorba on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 02:22:00 PM EST
    please don't give them any ideas- they come up with enough idiocy on their own  ;-).  I'm still waiting for the gropings and the nude X-rays at any number of other venues.

    Hate to say it, Zorba (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 02:34:01 PM EST
    but I think your fear of scanners at sporting events may not be too far off the mark. We are quickly becomeing a surveillance society. The key will be the co$t of implementing it.

    Yes, well, unfortunately, (none / 0) (#11)
    by Zorba on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 03:40:08 PM EST
    this is indeed what we are becoming.
    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    Benjamin Franklin, 1775

    I think Geoffrey Stone's book (none / 0) (#13)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 04:00:11 PM EST
    "Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime" should be required reading for history buffs who think they know how former founding fathers, presidents, and courts approached opposition from "the enemy within." The section on John Adams and the sedition acts is quite a mirror to the Bush administration's policies on civil liberties -- policies we are still seeing in effect, and even embellished by the current administration.

    Ben Franklin may have been the most prescient American who ever lived.


    At least no one in Mumbai was (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 01:41:25 PM EST

    Where is the line (none / 0) (#2)
    by Zorba on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 02:09:09 PM EST
    between legitimate undercover investigation, and entrapment?  If the government creates the circumstances for the illegal operation, how can you tell that it would have taken place at all without their "help"?  I really hate this kind of thing, and I don't believe that it makes us any "safer."  
    And, on a slightly different tangent- obviously, we need to start using enhanced body searches and back-scatter X-ray scanners at every Christmas tree lighting ceremony.  Not to mention anywhere else that lots of people gather.  How about the Super Bowl, the World Series, and other sporting events, to begin with?  (/snark- sort of)  

    I don't like stings (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 02:14:18 PM EST
    But it seems plain that Mohamed wanted to kill Americans.

    In the months that followed, Mohamud allegedly made several unsuccessful attempts to contact UA2.

    Um... it seems none of the real terrorists (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 02:19:35 PM EST
    wanted to play with him. So, barring the interference of the U.S. government's drama club actors, it would be hard to prove he was in the process of staging an actual threat.

    I agree that it appears that (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 03:07:51 PM EST
    his first attempts did not get him hooked up...

    But IF the FBI had not been on the job, why should we assume that his second, or third, etc., attempt would not have been successful?


    Well, why couldn't the FBI just watch him? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by nycstray on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 03:32:51 PM EST
    and then if he does get hooked up, they can bust even more people, instead of just one that they setup? seems that would be a more prudent use of our security resources . . . .

    Looks like they did watch him (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 04:18:57 PM EST
    for a while. I would say that it is a resource issue.. how many can they watch at one time...and the thought that he might slip one by them.

    Intent (none / 0) (#10)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 03:35:50 PM EST
    is the issue, I think. Or as the government likes to call it, "aspirational." But, no, I don't think we can simply assume that any further attempts at hooking up with terrorists abroad would have borne a terror act here -- based on his previous failures. I'm not at all interested in coddling terrorist suspects, but is intent enough for a maximum life sentence?

    IMO, unless a criminal action is already in the works, stings are a bad idea.


    Glad the FBI found him first (none / 0) (#12)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 03:51:17 PM EST
    This report indicates he was bound and determined to kill lots of people.  Making a bomb is not very difficult.  We are fortunate that he sought help rather than building one himself.

    My take too (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 04:05:07 PM EST
    This guy was determined one way or another.  Sad though, he's just a damned punk kid who based on how determined he was will spend the rest of his life in prison.  It's sad, but I'm glad he is no longer on the streets determined to kill me along with a huge mass of other people.  According to the story he made repeated attempts to email the "contact" he was provided prior to the FBI creating an associate.

    Alternate Title (none / 0) (#15)
    by msobel on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 04:11:16 PM EST
    FBI successfully plots to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony entrapping teen as co-conspirator

    Bingo!... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Sun Nov 28, 2010 at 06:46:04 AM EST
    the problem with these entrapment stings it is far too difficult to tell where the criminal consiracy started...with the kid or the FBI.

    What happens when the FBI gets to chirping in a wannabe's ear and the mark slips through the cracks?  I don't think we're served by undercovers doing any radicalizing whatsoever...all our efforts should be towards reducing violence and violent thought...not feeding it to get a cheap bust and a headline.



    If you're a right-wing pundit (none / 0) (#18)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Nov 28, 2010 at 08:42:37 AM EST
    why do you need any stinking facts?

    From www.gatewaypundit(dot)com, via Sadly, No!:

    That headline tops a picture of smiling white Christians around a Christmas tree, followed immediately below by a picture of the dusky-hued perpetrator and a statement that the devilish Mooslim was eighteen minutes -- EIGHTEEN MINUTES, I TELL YOU!! -- from blowing up his car bomb and scattering innocent body parts all over Portland.

    Click Me


    I wonder if it ever occurred to the FBI agents (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Sun Nov 28, 2010 at 11:23:08 AM EST
    to try to use their intervention to turn this kid around. Why did he want to kill people? Did they even try to change his mind rather than encourage him? Probably not.