Terrorism suspect's trial begins in Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Terrorism suspect's trial begins in Portland

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The trial of terrorism suspect Mohamed Mohamud is set to begin Thursday at U.S. District Court in Downtown Portland.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Thursday.

Mohamud is accused of plotting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction during the November 2010 Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

But the plot was a ruse. The men he thought were his co-conspirators were actually FBI agents, posing as Islamic extremists. They had filled a van with phony explosives and parked the van near the square. 

Authorities say Mohamud placed a call from a cell phone, thinking it would set off the bomb; instead, federal agents arrested him.

Mohamud's attorneys will likely present an entrapment defense, arguing their client was a vulnerable teen coerced by federal agents. Mohamud, who once attended Beaverton High School and Oregon State University, was 19 years old at the time.

Prosecutors argue he was predisposed to commit terrorist acts long before the sting operation.

The trial could last about four weeks. If convicted, Mohamud faces life in prison.

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