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FBI watched alleged bomber for months

Sept. 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM

PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Lawyers for Mohamed Mohamud, accused of attempting to bomb a 2010 tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore., were told the FBI had watched him for months.

Mohamud, 21, who faces trial in January, allegedly attempted to ignite a weapon of mass destruction, a fake bomb provided him by FBI operatives posing as terrorist colleagues, at a tree-lighting in Pioneer Courthouse Square on Nov. 26, 2010.

In a pre-trial hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland, his defense team complained of "significant gaps" in evidence provided them, although prosecutors said 10,000 pages of records had been turned over, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Tuesday.

Chief Deputy Federal Public Defender Stephen Sady, who heads Mohamud's defense team, said their client's June 2010 interview with FBI agents at the Portland airport, which took place just after Mohamud learned he was on the federal no-fly list as he was about to board a flight to a summer job in Alaska, was not voluntary and any statements should be inadmissible. The FBI agents, alerted by Mohamud's father eight months earlier about his concerns that his son had been brainwashed, questioned Mohamud about his association with a suspected terrorist.

Retired FBI agent Brad Petrie, who with a colleague conducted the interview, testified Mohamud was not arrested at the airport and was free to leave at any time.

Five months later, the FBI's long investigation of Mohamud culminated in his arrest, the newspaper said.

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