The agents, in light disguise and identified by false names "Youssef" and "Hussein," testified Wednesday against Mohamed Mohamud, 21, who is on trial for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, Courthouse News Service reported Thursday.
The FBI says Mohamud communicated with undercover officers two years ago and ignited what he thought was a live bomb at the tree lighting ceremony. Investigators said the bomb was a fake, but the Somali-American's intentions were real.
"I want whoever is attending that event to leave either dead or injured," Mohamud can be heard saying in a wiretap recording presented at trial.
Youssef said the undercover operation was meant to determine if Mohamud was all talk about his plan to detonate a bomb, or if he was serious. Prior to the tree lighting ceremony, the agents took Mohamud to rural Lincoln County to detonate a smaller bomb.
"We wanted him to understand the magnitude of what he wanted to do," Hussein said of the practice run.
Defense lawyers have said Mohamud was a victim of overzealous agents who entrapped him. They describe a vulnerable teenager who was sought out and groomed to be a jihadist by two undercover agents.
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