Posted by Wordsmith on 27 November, 2010 at 10:42 am. 44 comments already!


This image provided by the Mauthnomah County Sheriff’s Office shows Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, arrested and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Officials say he tried to detonate a vehicle bomb at Pioneer Courthouse Square during the tree lighting ceremony Friday, Nov. 26, 2010. They said the bomb was a dummy that FBI agents supplied him. (AP Photo/Mauthnomah County Sheriff’s Office) (AP)

Are all those from Somalia terrorists? No. From Yemen? Saudi Arabia? Pakistan? No. Are all Muslims? No. But there certainly is a pattern and a profile to look out for here:

Federal agents in a sting operation arrested a Somali-born teenager just as he tried blowing up a van he believed was loaded with explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, authorities said.

The bomb was an elaborate fake supplied by the agents and the public was never in danger, authorities said.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested at 5:40 p.m. Friday just after he dialed a cell phone that he thought would set off the blast but instead brought federal agents and police swooping down on him.

Yelling “Allahu Akbar!” _ Arabic for “God is great!” _ Mohamud tried to kick agents and police after he was taken into custody, according to prosecutors.

“The threat was very real,” said Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale,”

A law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press on Saturday that federal agents began investigating the suspect after receiving a tip from someone who was concerned about the teenager.

The FBI affidavit that outlined the investigation alleges that Mohamud planned the attack for months, at one point mailing bomb components to FBI operatives, whom he believed were assembling the device.

According to the official, Mohamud hatched the plan on his own and without any instruction from a foreign terrorist organization, and he planned the details, including where to park the van for the maximum number of casualties.

The affidavit said Mohamud was warned several times about the seriousness of his plan, that women and children could be killed, and that he could back out, but he told agents: “Since I was 15 I thought about all this;” and “It’s gonna be a fireworks show … a spectacular show.”

Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen living in Corvallis, was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Traditionally, al-Qaeda has gone for the spectacular. But with all these jihadi-wannabes and “copy-cat” terrorists, how long before we have another “Allahu Akbar” attack on American soil of a scale more along the lines of the Ft. Hood shooting than 9/11? We Americans gather in numerous public spaces- shopping malls, movie theaters, concerts, carnivals, etc.

Our whole way of life can be transformed, yet again, should more and more terror-attacks, whether it be from lone Islamic wannabe-jihadists or organized terror networks, look to conduct less spectacular operations whose plannings may be harder to discover before they’re hatched.

Of interest: A Somali Teen’s Path to Jihad

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