Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested by Federal agents on Friday while attempting to use a cell phone to detonate a "dummy bomb", put together by FBI agents involved in his investigation.
The Feds claim the public was never in any danger...
This is the most recent in a string of "domestically breed" terrorist actions, where foreign born residents (or citizens) of the United States- receiving help or direct training from terror agents abroad- have attempted to pull off what could have been spectacular acts of terror had it not been for the incompetence of the would be terrorist.
In the Portland plot, Mohamud believed he was receiving help from a larger ring of jihadists as he communicated with undercover agents, but a law-enforcement official who wasn't authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on a condition of anonymity told The Associated Press that no foreign terrorist organization was directing him.
The official said Mohamud was committed to the plot and planned details alone, including where to park the van to hurt the most people.
"I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave dead or injured," Mohamud said, according to the affidavit.
"It's in Oregon, and Oregon, like you know, nobody ever thinks about it," the suspect told an agent in one discussion.
(And we think civic pride is dead in the youth of today...)
In his communications with undercover agents, Mohamud claimed he wanted his act of terror to be a "spectacular show" of blood and death.
If he had been successful in pulling off his plan it would have been.
Thousands were gathered on Friday evening in the Pioneer Courthouse Square for Portland's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Just ten minutes before Mohamud's 5:40 pm arrest (remember, he was arrested moments after he had "detonated" the bomb), the town square had erupted with the delighted screams of children elated to see Santa Claus for the first time that year.
According to the Associated Press, agents began investigating Mohamud after receiving a tip from someone concerned about him. The official declined providing further more detail about the relationship between the two. The FBI monitored Mohamud's e-mail and found he was in contact with people overseas, asking how he could travel to Pakistan and join the fight for jihad, according to an FBI affidavit.
The law enforcement official said Mohamud e-mailed a friend living in Pakistan who had been a student in Oregon in 2007-2008 and been in Yemen as well. The e-mail exchange led the FBI to believe that Mohamud’s friend in Pakistan “had joined others involved in terrorist activities” and was inviting Mohamud to join him, according to the affidavit.
For reasons unexplained, Mohamud tried to board a flight to Kodiak, Alaska, from Portland on June 14, wasn't allowed to board and was interviewed by the FBI, the affidavit states. Mohamud told the FBI he wanted to earn money fishing, then travel to join "the brothers." He said he had previously hoped to travel to Yemen but had never obtained a ticket or a visa.
On June 23, an agent e-mailed Mohamud, pretending to be affiliated with the "unindicted associate."
The FBI's affidavit said the friend in Pakistan referred him to another associate, but gave him an address Mohamud repeatedly tried e-mailing unsuccessfully. The official said FBI agents saw that as an opportunity and e-mailed in response, claiming to be associates of Mohamud's friend, the former student.
The affidavit said Mohamud was warned several times about the seriousness of his plan, that women and children could die, and that he could back out. But he told agents: "Since I was 15 I thought about all this," and "It's gonna be a fireworks show ... a spectacular show."
Mohamud, a naturalized citizen of the United States originally from Somalia, was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. A court appearance was set for Monday.Authorities allowed the plot to proceed in order to build up enough evidence to charge the suspect with attempt, and White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said Saturday that President Barack Obama was aware of the FBI operation before Friday's arrest. Shapiro said Obama was assured that the FBI was in full control of the operation and the public was not in danger.