Feds: Somali-born teen plotted car-bombing in Oregon
In an undercover sting operation at a Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Oregon, Mohamed Osman Mohamud was arrested dialing a cell phone that he thought would set off the blast.
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The two used coded language in which the FBI believes Mohamud discussed traveling to Pakistan to prepare for "violent jihad," the documents said.Skip to next paragraph
In June an FBI agent contacted Mohamud "under the guise of being affiliated with" the suspected terrorist. But the documents did not say how federal officials first became aware of Mohamud.
An undercover agent met with him a month later in Portland, where they "discussed violent jihad," according to the court documents. As a trial run, Mohamud and agents detonated a bomb in Oregon's backcounry earlier this month.
"This defendant's chilling determination is a stark reminder that there are people – even here in Oregon – who are determined to kill Americans," Holton said.
Friday, an agent and Mohamud drove to downtown Portland in a white van that carried six 55-gallon drums with detonation cords and plastic caps, but all of them were inert, the complaint states.
They left the van near the downtown ceremony site and went to a train station where Mohamud was given a cell phone that he thought would blow up the vehicle, according to the complaint. There was no detonation when he dialed, and when he tried again federal agents and police made their move.
"Talk to them and tell them what you know so we can all be safe," Jamal said.
U.S. authorities have been struggling against a recent spate of terror plans by U.S. citizens or residents.
In the Times Square plot, Faisal Shazhad allegedly tried to set off a car bomb at a bustling street corner. U.S. authorities had no intelligence about Shahzad's plot until the smoking car turned up in Manhattan. Late last month, Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Virginia was arrested and accused of casing Washington-area subway stations in what he thought was an al-Qaida plot to bomb and kill commuters. Similar to the Portland sting, the bombing plot was a ruse conducted over the past six months by federal officials.
And a year ago in another federal sting, 19-year-old Jordanian Hosam Smadi was arrested on charges he intended to bomb a downtown Dallas skyscraper. Federal officials said he placed what he believed was a car bomb outside the building but was instead a decoy device given him by an undercover FBI agent.