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Terrorism Suspect Demands Surveillance Records

The defense team of an Oregon terrorism suspect has asked for the FBI surveillance records of their client as part of his due-process rights.

The federal public defenders representing Mohamed O. Mohamud argued in a brief filed late Wednesday afternoon that they need to see the classified surveillance material gathered by the FBI so they can decide whether the surveillance was legitimately obtained and properly used.

Mohamud, 20, has been accused of attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction at a Portland Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in November.

The plot was a ruse, the men he thought were his co-conspirators were in fact FBI agents and there never was a bomb.

“Most of the authority for a warrant against a United States person can be readily determined to be inapplicable in this case,” Mohamud’s attorneys wrote.

Mohamud’s attorneys also said they want to see all records before Aug. 11, 2009, Mohamud’s 18th birthday. Anything gathered while he was a minor, they argued, throws into question the government’s reasonableness in their surveillance.

The filing also mentions that surveillance of Mohamud “led in part” to searches of him when an Oregon State University student told police Mohamud raped her after a 2009 Halloween party. Police investigated, but found nothing to corroborate her accusation and the charge was never pursued.

Nevertheless, the local police officers brought in federal officers to help with the investigation.

“This led to searches and seizures far beyond the reasonable scope of any consent given for investigation of the (rape accusation),” they wrote.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Garr King ordered to hand over all non-classified documents to Mohamud’s defense team, but stopped short of saying the defense has a right to everything the prosecution gathered in at least six months of investigation.

The government prosecutors say they’ve gone beyond what they’re required to provide in a case involving national security, and have rejected the so-called open-file approach requested by the defense.

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