Indiana man released on bail for attempted murder charge at Portland protest now faces federal charges

By Conrad Wilson (OPB)
June 2, 2021 1:39 a.m.

The U.S. Department of Justice has added charges against an Indiana man already accused in Oregon of throwing Molotov cocktails at police officers during Portland protests last fall.

Malik Muhammad, 24, was arrested Friday by the FBI, held in custody and appeared in federal court Tuesday. He’s federally charged with possessing a firearm that’s not registered to him, civil disorder for obstructing law enforcement officers and possessing explosives to commit a federal felony.


Muhammad, whose name appears as Muhammed in state court records, faces 26 felonies in state court as well, including attempted murder, which the Multnomah County District Attorneys Office announced in April.

A yellow jar with a brown towel stuffed into its mouth rests amongst leaves on the side of a road.

Portland police allege 24-year-old Malik Muhammed threw incendiary devices like this at officers during a protest in October.

Portland Police Bureau

Prosecutors with the Multnomah County District Attorneys Office said Muhammad traveled to Portland “for the specific purpose of engaging in the multiple criminal episodes and behavior.”


Court documents state Muhammad threw Molotov cocktails at police during protests on Sept. 21 and Sept. 23, and smashed windows of Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society on Oct. 11.

Last week, Muhammad was released from the Multnomah County Jail after the Portland Freedom Fund supplied $212,500 on Muhammed’s behalf, 10% of his bail required for release. The fund opposes cash bail.

Federal charges against Muhammad were filed May 28, two days after his release.

State court records note Portland Police Bureau Detective Meredith Hopper investigated the case and reported finding multiple firearms in Muhammad’s travel trailer “including an AR-15 and shotguns” during a search Oct. 12.

The AR-15 was owned by an Indianapolis man who told the detective that Muhammad “was attempting to recruit people to engage in violent activities including an armed forceful takeover of a radio or television station” in a redacted location. The AR-15 owner “described the defendant as a communist revolutionary who was attempting to gather people with firearms to engage in acts of violence,” state court documents state.

Federal court documents claim Muhammed expressed support for “Anti-Government/Anti-Authority Violent Extremist ideology and related groups.”

From Aug. 14-16, Muhammad reportedly went to Louisville, Kentucky, with five others to meet with “like-minded groups” while they conducted “firearms and tactical training in support of their [anti-government, extremist] ideology,” federal court records state.

During a hearing Wednesday, a federal judge ordered his continued pre-trial detention.