Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Portland Christmas Tree Bomber: Some questions answered, others not

The FBI's affidavit gives us a glimpse into the mind of the young Somali. This from TIME's online site:

The FBI's detailed affidavit portrays Mohamud as hell-bent on bombing the popular annual event in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square. The FBI complaint details how undercover agents proposed other, less lethal ways Mohamud could help the jihadi cause besides bombing, but the young man was steadfast. Indeed, the affidavit contains virulent quotes allegedly from Mohamud: "I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured"; "You know what I like to see? Is when I see the enemy of Allah then, you know, their bodies are torn everywhere"; "It's gonna be a fireworks show ... a spectacular show ... New York Times will give it two thumbs up"; and "Do you remember when 9/11 happened when those people were jumping from skyscrapers ... I thought that was awesome." It seemed to be another case of a young American radicalized by Islamist extremism. (See the influence of the Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.)

On the other hand, the agency still isn't revealing how it got a line on this guy in the first place. TIME again:

But Mohamud seems to have been almost as angry at his family. The FBI affidavit never explains what prompted the bureau to put Mohamud on the no-fly list, which prevented him from traveling to Alaska last June and got him an FBI interrogation instead, in which he admitted that he had originally been planning to go to Yemen where he knew someone. It does say, however, that Mohamud later e-mailed the undercover FBI operative to say, "I was betrayed by my family; I was supposed to travel last year, but Allah had decreed that I stay here longer." And according to the FBI report, in a goodbye video Mohamud recorded on Nov. 4 after a practice detonation, he had a specific message: "To my parents, who held me back from jihad in the cause of Allah, I say to them, If you make allies with the enemy, then Allah's power will ask you about that on the day of judgment."

Sure doesn't look like a case of entrapment. Rather, this looks to me like good police work.

On the other hand, how many more Mohamud's are out there?

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