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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Somali-born Oregon bomber suspect wanted 'spectacular show'



By TIM FOUGHT and NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Tim Fought And Nedra Pickler, Associated Press – Sat Nov 27, 5:59 pm ET

PORTLAND, Ore. – A Somali-born teenager plotted "a spectacular show" of terrorism for months, saying he didn't mind that children would die if he bombed a crowded Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, according to a law-enforcement official and court documents.

He never got the chance. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested Friday in downtown Portland after using a cell phone to try to detonate what he thought were explosives in a van, prosecutors said. It turned out to be a dummy bomb put together by FBI agents.

It is the latest in a string of alleged terrorist plots by U.S. citizens or residents, including a Times Square plot in which a Pakistan-born man pleaded guilty earlier this year to trying to set off a car bomb at a bustling street corner. Last month, another Pakistan-born Virginia resident was accused in a bomb plot to kill commuters.

In the Portland plot, Mohamud believed he was receiving help from a larger ring of jihadists as he communicated with undercover federal agents, but no foreign terrorist organization was directing him, according to a law-enforcement official who wasn't authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on a condition of anonymity.

The official said Mohamud was very committed to the plot and planned the 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. [more on the story at Reuters]


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