In 2010 a 19-year-old Somali American was convicted of attempting to bomb a downtown square in Portland during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Nearly four years after the conviction, Mohamed Mohamud will be sentenced on Oct. 1. Now 23-years-old, the young man could face life in prison, but prosecutors have recommended a 40-year sentence.
Mohamud was arrested on Nov. 26, 2010 following an attempt to bomb thousands of individuals who gathered for an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. In actuality, no one was at risk of being harmed. It was discovered the bomb was as a fake provided by undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaida recruiters.
According to the Associated Press, the FBI agents had made friends with the Mohamud, who was just a teen at the time, after learning that he had hand written an online jihadi magazine.
Mohamud, a former Oregon State University student, was initially scheduled to be sentence last year, but it was delayed after the government’s disclosure that warrantless overseas wiretaps helped make its case. His defense team pushed for a new trial, but was unsuccessful.
Ethan Knight, lead prosecutor, released this statement in August 2013:
“The evidence at trial established that defendant’s murderous conduct was the culmination of a mindset that began to develop years before the commencement of the government’s investigation,” Knight wrote in the August 2013 filing. “Over that period, defendant became radicalized to such a startling degree that he was willing to commit chilling acts of violence in the name of Islamic extremism.”
However, Chief Deputy Public Defender Stephen Sady believes the sentencing is too harsh when compared to Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, who only got an 18-year sentence after attempting to attack a Seattle military processing station.