Morning testimony in the trial of Mohamed Mohamud focused on some FBI agents involved in the case Wednesday.
Undercover agents worked with Mohamud on a plan to bomb Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square two years ago.
The government says that while the device wasn’t real, the threat posed by the defendant was.
Federal prosecutor Ethan Knight questioned Special Agent John Hallock about the dummy bomb he built for the undercover operation that led to Mohamud’s arrest. Hallock’s job is handling real explosives for the Bureau. Hallock said the fake bomb was constructed to carry out what other agents told him was Mohamud’s intent: an explosion over several blocks of downtown Portland. The device was, in fact, built with bird seed and wood pellets, layered with diesel and fertilizer for a realistic look and smell. But it was inert.
On cross examination, defense attorney Lisa Hay was more interested in things Hallock had done after Mohamud was arrested. She noted Hallock was heard on a surveillance recording talking with another agent about what they perceived as the FBI director’s lack of interest in the case, and speculated headquarters would regain interest with Mohamud’s arrest.
On the tape, the agents expressed surprise Mohamud hadn’t figured out the sting.
April Baer is covering the Mohamud trial for OPB. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.Find more Mohamud trial coverage here.