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Mohamud Trial: Agents Describe Bomb Detonation Plan

Federal agents told the jury Thursday about the sequence of events on the day Mohamed Mohamud allegedly intended to detonate a bomb in downtown Portland.

Mohamud’s main FBI contact was an undercover agent going by “Youssef”. He told the jury about the final preparations, hours before the Christmas tree-lighting where Mohamud allegedly planned to set off a bomb. The device was actually a harmless fake made by the FBI.

Youssef told prosecutors Mohamud seemed happy.  Youssef found himself nervous. Why? For Mohamud’s outcome, Youssef said. He said the two had built a relationship, to carry out Mohamud’s plan.

Defense attorneys built their cross-examination by outlining what Mohamud was responsible for - choosing the site, using a truck to deliver the bomb, picking parking spaces.  Then the attorney confirmed what the FBI was responsible, like actually getting a truck, designing and building a bomb, and planning the day’s logistics.

Federal defender Steven Wax played surveillance tape intended to show operatives asking Mohamud how he came to think about plotting a violent act.

Each time, Mohamud talked about his religious feelings.  He didn’t answer directly or mention a plot. By the eighth time the agents asked him when he started thinking about it, he said, since our last meeting.

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

Find more Mohamud trial coverage here.

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