A Somali-born teenager was arrested yesterday for attempting to detonate what he thought was a car bomb at a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Oregon, US authorities said.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in connection with an alleged plot to bomb the annual event in downtown Portland, the FBI said in a statement late yesterday.
The bomb was a fake and had been provided to Mohamud as part of a long-term sting by the FBI. It also said Mohamud had been in contact with an unnamed individual overseas believed to be involved in terrorist activities.
"The threat was very real. Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale," said Arthur Balizan, a senior FBI agent in Oregon.
Agents shadowed Mohamud, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, for months and met him several times as the plot developed, officials said, adding he had told them that he had thought of waging violent jihad, or holy war, since the age of 15. Read more