Tactics used in bomb plot criticized
Some residents of this famously liberal city are unnerved, not only by a plot to bomb an annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony last week but also by the police tactics in the case.
They questioned whether federal agents crossed the line by training 19-year-old Somali-American Mohamed O. Mohamud to blow up a bomb, giving him $3,000 cash to rent an apartment and providing him with a fake bomb.
The FBI affidavit “was a picture painted to make the suspect sound like a dangerous terrorist,” said Portland photographer Rich Burroughs.
“I don’t think it’s clear at all that this person would have ever had access to even a fake bomb if not for the FBI.”
Mohamud’s defense lawyer said in court Monday that agents groomed his client and timed his arrest for publicity’s sake.
Public defender Stephen Sady focused on the FBI’s failed attempt to record a first conversation between Mohamud and an FBI undercover operative.
“In the cases involving potential entrapment, it’s the initial meeting that matters,” Sady said.
Attorney General Eric Holder defended the agents Monday, rejecting entrapment accusations.
Mohamud entered a not-guilty plea Monday in federal court in Portland.