Oregon Bomb Plot Suspect Was Entrapped, Lawyer Claims

David Cornell

A Somali-born man charged with trying to detonate a bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting event in Oregon was a hard-partying college student manipulated by FBI agents posing as Islamist militants, claims his lawyer on Friday.

A prosecutor in the federal trial of Mohamed Osman Mohamud countered the claim during opening statements, saying he acted on his own volition in the bomb plot, says Yahoo News.

Mohamud, a former Oregon State University student and a naturalized US citizen who was 19 when he was arrested, faces life in prison if convicted of attempting to activate a weapon of mass destruction and blow up the 2010 Christmas tree-lighting festivities at a plaza in Portland.

Mohamud was arrested after he tried to use a cell phone to trigger what he believed was a car bomb but was actually a harmless device used to set him up, an FBI affidavit filed in the case said. The fake bomb was planted in a van in a very well-populated area.

Defense attorney Stephen Sady argued on Friday that the actions of his client were not his idea:

"Mohamed was no terrorist. The FBI just went too far. They created a crime that would have never happened without them."
"'A dark day is coming your way ... by Allah we have soldiers scattered across the globe."

Oregon bomb plot may have been entrapment

Tung Yin, a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School said:

"The only defense (Mohamud's attorneys) can really mount is entrapment. We've seen this defense with other, similar cases and none have succeeded."