News | Local | The Mohamud Trial

Mohamud Defense Prods Operative On Sting Tactics

OPB | Jan. 16, 2013 1:25 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 18, 2013 2:29 p.m. | Portland

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Attorneys for Mohamed Mohamud spent Wednesday morning poking holes in the government’s claims that the defendant was dangerous. Mohamud was arrested in a sting operation. Prosecutors say he intended to kill thousands of people with a car bomb.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud booking photo.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud booking photo.

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

Defense attorney Lisa Hay questioned Youssef, the undercover FBI employee who met with Mohamud eight times through the course of the operation posing as an Al-Qaeda recruiter. She noted that Youssef gave Mohamud a series of tasks, including renting an apartment for the operation.  Hay then showed an email in which Mohamud asked his contacts to co-sign for him. 

Wasn’t it kind of a “clueless idea,” Hay proposed, “to think Al Qaeda would co-sign for an apartment?”

Hay questioned Youssef extensively about his role in a video message Mohamud recorded in advance of the plot.

Youssef conceded he’d been creating something that would later be used as evidence, without telling Mohamud the ultimate audience for the video might be a jury. 

Hay also compared themes Youssef suggested to Mohamud, and similar phrases Mohamud ended up using in the video. 

April Baer is covering the Mohamud trial for OPB. You can reach her at

Find more Mohamud trial coverage here.

« FBI Employee: Mohamud Was Ready For Suicide Attack

Defense Grills Operative On Underlying Motives »


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