Terrorism suspect's mindset debated at Ore. trial

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 12, 2013 at 3:25 am •  Published: January 12, 2013
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It's no surprise in Portland, a city that has a long and uneasy relationship with federal law enforcement. The erroneous prosecution of a Muslim attorney on terrorism charges, the city's withdrawal from an information-sharing task force with the FBI, and the overseas interrogations of two Portland Muslim men have all contributed to a fractious climate.

Sady warned jurors that they would see and hear Mohamud expressing views about the West that they may find "offensive or disgusting," but urged them to put aside their emotions and decide the case based on the law.

Holsinger made reference to some of Mohamud's radical writing and statements he made to undercover agents. Some of what he published online for an English-language al-Qaida publication will be shown to the jury, she said, and he was writing for the publication in February 2009, long before the FBI contacted him.

Dates are critical to the dueling narratives presented by the prosecution and defense. Prosecutors told jurors to focus on Nov. 26, 2010, the day Mohamud is accused of punching numbers into a black Nokia cell phone that he thought would set off a 1,800-pound bomb.

The defense says the crucial date is more than a year earlier: Nov. 9, 2009, the day Mohamud was first contacted by an informant directed by the FBI to feel out his intentions.

Before that day, Sady said, Mohamud wasn't predisposed to terrorism. He was simply an angry, conservative Muslim trying to pull off a double life as a gin-drinking, marijuana-smoking college freshman.

"The FBI agent wrote that in an email," Sady said. "This was an (easily manipulated), impressionable kid."

The trial continues Monday with evidence from the prosecution.

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Reach reporter Nigel Duara on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/RSmBei .