Jurors watch clips of tree-lighting bombing suspect - KPTV - FOX 12

Jurors watch clips of tree-lighting bombing suspect discussing plot

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Jurors watched a video in which Mohamed Mohamud planned to take responsibility for the bombing of the 2010 Pioneer Courthouse Square tree-lighting ceremony, a plot foiled in an undercover FBI operation.

It's one of several video clips jurors watched Tuesday, the second full day of testimony in Mohamud's trial. Mohamud is charged with attempting use a weapon of mass destruction, following months of working with undercover FBI agents in 2010.

Unlike the other videos they watched, which were secretly recorded by the FBI, Mohamud knew he was on camera this time.

"Did you think you could invade a Muslim land and we would not invade you?" Mohammed read from a piece of paper.

He was wearing a red headdress known as a keffiyeh and a white garment known as a thawb, commonly worn in Arab countries.

"We have soldiers everywhere."

Recorded in Mohamud's apartment in Corvallis, the video appeared to be designed for release some time after the tree-lighting ceremony.

It was the idea of the FBI, according to the testimony of an undercover agent known to Mohamud as Youssef. However, Youssef said, they did not suggest the content.

Youssef testified in disguise. In order to protect his identity, he did not provide his real name. Media and trial spectators watched his testimony from a separate courtroom.

In his testimony Monday, Youssef said Mohamud told him he wanted to become "operational" and suggested filling a vehicle with explosives. Youssef asked Mohamud to research targets.

On Tuesday, jurors also watched several video clips recorded Aug. 19, 2010 in downtown Portland. Youssef, who was posing as an Al-Qaeda recruiter, introduced Mohamud to another undercover agent, posing as an explosives expert named Hussein.

In the video, Mohamud is heard proposing driving a van full of explosives into the crowd at the tree-lighting. He tells the agents there will be 25,000 people there, including families.

At one point, Youssef is heard saying, "You know there's going to be a lot of children?"

Mohamud responds, "Yeah, that's what I'm looking for."

Later in the conversation, Hussein asks, "So are you telling me that you don't mind driving it [a van] and blowing it up while you're in it?"

"No, I don't mind," Mohamud says.

Youssef previously testified he thought Mohamud might be "all talk" after their first meeting in July, but this meeting gave him the impression that the teen "was very serious."

"At this point, I'm afraid he may take matters into his own hands because he's very excited," he said.

In the video, the agents are telling Mohamud he can change his mind at any time. They're also heard pressing him for details about the plan, and asking him about the many people the plot will kill. Similar questioning is present in recordings of future meetings and in emails exchanged between Youssef and Mohamud.

The idea, Youssef testified, was to scare Mohamud, but "he's not scared. He's quick in his responses. He's excited about it."

Jurors also watched a video from another meeting, in which the agents ask Mohamud to find the best place to park a truck or van near Pioneer Courthouse Square. They also ask him to buy components for the bomb, including two prepaid cell phones, a timer and a toggle switch.

In the video, undercover agent Hussein is heard telling Mohamud how to avoid raising suspicion.

"Buy one thing from each place," he tells him. "Always wait a day before. Don't drive from one place to another."

Youssef testified, "We hope he will realize what he's doing, the magnitude of his plan. And it will give him a chance to reconsider."

Instead, their meetings continued.

The agents also gave Mohamud money to rent an apartment in Corvallis when he returned for the fall semester at Oregon State University.

The goal, Youssef testified, was so they could keep an eye on him.

"That way he doesn't do anything before Nov. 26," he said.

Mohamud's attorneys do not dispute his involvement in the plot, but argue he was entrapped by the FBI agents.

The prosecution will continue to call witnesses Wednesday. The trial is expected to continue into February.

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