U.S. District Judge Garr M. King ruled forcing the agents, who were undercover when they met alleged would-be terrorist Mohamed Mohamud, to testify using their real identities would pose a risk to national security and to themselves and their families. That risk outweighs what King acknowledged was information that could prove helpful to Mohamud's defense, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Tuesday.
"The court concludes that the government's national security interest in protecting the classified information, disclosure of which at this time may reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security of the United States, outweighs any defense interest in obtaining the information," King's decision said.
Mohamud was contacted by the two agents who called themselves Hussein and Youssef. They befriended Mohamud and eventually gave him what he thought was a bomb to set off during a Portland Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in November 2010. The bomb was a fake and Mohamud was arrested when he tried to set it off.