Local

Suspect Told Agents He Wanted To Become 'Operational"

OPB | Nov. 27, 2010 8:54 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:06 a.m. | Portland, OR

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Investigators have released more information about the Somali-born U.S. citizen arrested for a bomb plot in Oregon.

FBI agents say they‘d been watching 19-year old Mohamed Osman Mohamud for over a year when he told agents he wanted to become, in his words, “operational”.

Art Balizan is the FBI’s Special Agent in Charge for the Portland office. He says not every suspect expressing interest in terrorism is a threat, but Mohamud was different.


Art Balizan “The threat was very, very real, he was very, very motivated to commit a violent act, however law enforcement never allowed him to possess actual explosives or other devices.”

Balizan would not comment on Mohamud’s motivation.

Agents say after they approached Mohamud, he proposed a plan to detonate a bomb at a popular holiday tree-lighting ceremony. But the bomb Mohamud thought he was building with agents was an inactive device.

He’ll appear in court Monday.

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