Jury selected in Christmas tree lighting bomb plot trial - KPTV - FOX 12

Jury selected in Christmas tree lighting bomb plot trial

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A jury is now in place to decide the fate of a man accused of attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction at Portland's holiday tree-lighting ceremony in 2010.

The trial of Mohamed Mohamud began on Thursday.

The jury selection process took a day and a half. It included a pool of more than 80 potential jurors from several different counties in Oregon.

Each person filled out questionnaires, asking various questions about their background, including their feelings about law enforcement and their knowledge of Islam.

The judge also questioned some of the candidates in the courtroom.

Federal prosecutors and the suspect's defense team asked the judge to remove certain potential jurors based on their responses.

"I thought it was very interesting, actually," said Kevin Hill of Tualatin, who was not selected to be on the jury. "They were very thorough in how they selected their jury and I honestly don't know why I was excused."

Some were eliminated Thursday for having connections to other high-profile terrorism cases. Mohamud's school librarian in the sixth grade was also in the pool, but was removed on the opening day.

Mohamud's defense plans to argue he was entrapped by the FBI. They say his youth made him a vulnerable target.

Prosecutors say Mohamud was offered the option of peaceful resistance, but chose a path of violence.

Some jurors who weren't chosen admitted they really didn't know much about the case, but now they're interested in seeing how it unfolds.

"Maybe I spent too much time at home. I hadn't heard about it at all, so I was very surprised something like that would happen here," said Phaedra Adams, of Portland. "Now I'm curious. I want to know what evidence is going to be shown and what the verdict is going to be."

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