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Jurors See Footage Of Mohamud's Failed Detonation Attempt

OPB | Jan. 18, 2013 5:17 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 25, 2013 1:43 p.m.

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Jurors saw surveillance footage Friday from the hours and moments before Mohamed Mohamud detonated what he believed was a 2,000-pound bomb in downtown Portland, two years ago.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud booking photo.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud booking photo.

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

On the FBI recording, Mohamud had a frantic moment when he believed his mother’s car was following him and his two co-conspirators, as they went to set off the car bomb they’ve just placed at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

“What are the chances?” he asked the two undercover agents he believed to be Al Qaeda operatives.

The three moved on, dropping off one of the undercover agents. Mohamud and the undercover agent known as “Hussein” drove a few blocks. Hussein asked repeatedly if Mohamud was ready. He replied affirmatively every time. Then Mohamud phoned in a code he believed would set off the bomb. When he got no response, he stepped out the car and tried again.

The audio recording then erupted in a clamor of agents rushing toward the pair, yelling at them to get down.

The agent known in court “Hussein” was heard praising God. Mohamud didn’t make a sound.

Hussein testified he learned the defendant spit on the arresting agents as he was taken into custody.


April Baer is covering the Mohamud trial for OPB. You can reach her at abaer@opb.org.

Find more Mohamud trial coverage here.

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