Bomb plot case in hands of jurors

Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:57 AM
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PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Jurors have begun deciding the fate of a man accused of trying to set off a bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore.

Lawyers made their closing arguments Wednesday, 20 days after the bomb plot trial of Mohamed Mohamud, 21, began, The Oregonian reported. Mohamud was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

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 in 2009. Investigators said the bomb was a fake, but the Somali-American's intentions were real.

Stephen R. Sady, Mohamud's lawyer, told the federal court jury Wednesday "the FBI just went too far" in their undercover investigation of the then-19 year old.

Sady said the two agents came into Mohamud's life at a weak point. His parents were separating, and he was smoking, drinking and having sex all while trying to live life as a good Muslim. He said Mohamud reached out to members of an Islamic organization seeking words of comfort.

"This was not somebody sitting around thinking about blowing up Portland," he said.

Prosecutor Ethan D. Knight said that although the FBI agents aided Mohamud with his plan, the decision to activate the bomb "was made by the defendant long before the law arrived.

 "His choice was easy that night," Knight told jurors. "And your choice is easy today. Find the defendant guilty."

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